JCCC paramedic students get firsthand experience with Life Flight helicopter

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Johnson County Community College paramedic students got some hands-on experience Wednesday after a Live Flight helicopter landed on campus for real life demonstrations.

EMS Professor at JCCC Steve Wnek said the students were able to get an idea of the helicopter's dimensions, equipment, size limitations and what the workspace is like.

“I think it`s great...it`s an experience that you need to have when the time is right.”

JCCC does this every year with each paramedics class...and the goal is to ensure students will be more comfortable should they ever become Live Flight paramedics.

“I work at a fire department now, and they`re putting me through school, but as far as being able to come out here and touch a helicopter, be around it, talk to the crew members, I`ve never done anything like this before,” JCCC paramedic student, Nathan Palmer said.

Wnek said it really helps to come out and actually see and talk to the crew members themselves.

"Their experiences and the kind of patients they've run into, so it's really helpful for them."

Palmer said you need five years of experience to be a paramedic on a Live Flight helicopter and he`s interested in doing so when he has a few more years of experience under his belt.

“You can`t just pick it up from a PowerPoint or from a video, being able to come out here and touch it and be around it is vital,” Palmer said.

Palmer said that adrenaline factor is not going to be as prevalent in the situation, obviously.

"Obviously it`s a critical patient, and your blood is going to be pumping, but you`re going to know what the situation calls for," said Palmer. “Being out here, touching it and being around it is something that you`re not going to forget fast.”