Students at Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District now have emergency equipment that first responders use— an EMS training ambulance.
It's stripped down without the sirens, but still simulates the real deal.
In the first year of the Harlingen CISD EMT program, it's already changing students' career paths, like senior Victoria Wallace.
"But, when they gave us that option to do EMT, I automatically knew I wasn't going to do CMA anymore," Wallace said.
Students receive teaching from active EMT and firefighters to give them guidance into the world of first responders.
Along with the training ambulance, they have a “practice dummy” to help students practice real life-saving scenarios.
"This is giving me the feel of it, so if I can stand it here, I know I can stand it there," said Wallace. She continued, "We haven't been out in the field yet, but I know we are getting close and it's getting me more excited."
Towards the end of the program, students will go on ride-alongs with the South Texas Emergency Care Foundation's EMS crews.
Career & Technical Education Director Raul Alvarez says the students have to put in many hours, both weekend and evening course, to prepare them for the real deal.
"What they're learning here at HCISD is equivalent to what an adult would learn at any EMT academy or firefighting academy in the state," said Alvarez.