EMT Training Partnership with Laurens District 55 High School Well Underway

Piedmont Technical College (PTC) Instructor Steve Hudson’s Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class at Laurens District 55 High School is well into its first semester. Announced last fall, the dual enrollment partnership has a committed first class of seniors who are considering careers as first responders. 

The brainchild of Superintendent Dr. Ameca Thomas, this program was established in response to strong community interest and the shortage of EMTs in the workforce. Perhaps a reflection of spreading regional concern, upstate-based TV network affiliate Fox Carolina News last month requested access to the class for a news story. The students, who on that day were receiving CPR training on adult and infant medical manikins, were poised and confident in front of the TV cameras.

Senior Heidi Ashmore seemed right at home in front of the camera. 

“This is my third CPR class but the first that is so in-depth,” she told reporter Jarvis Robinson. “I love being able to know that I can potentially save people’s lives.” Perhaps on impulse, she couldn’t resist adding, “Go Raiders!” 

For Dr. Thomas, watching the students perform chest compressions on the manikins was extremely meaningful. 

“To see all of this in action, it’s pretty exciting,” she said.

Hudson noted that there are still nearly a thousand EMT vacancies in South Carolina. These students will complete this course prepared to take the EMT certification exam and graduate work-ready. “These students can go directly into jobs that pay $41,000 per year,” he said.

A first responder himself, Hudson praised his students for asking thoughtful, conscientious questions and demonstrating real-world professionalism while training. 

“I am proud to lead this class and to help bring new EMT professionals to the field,” he said. “It’s an honor to work for PTC and to teach at Laurens District 55 High School. Dr. Thomas has been wonderful to work with, and the students are incredible!”

UPDATE:  Officials on March 29, 2022, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the high school’s new Ambulance Trainer. PTC also has a mobile ambulance trainer that can be transported to students wherever they are in the college’s seven-county service area. 


•    Laurens District 55 High School senior Heidi Ashmore told a Fox Carolina reporter she loves to help people.
•    Students practice CPR techniques on infant manikins. 
•    Student Wendy Arellano-Hernandez performs chest compressions on a manikin. 
•    Lead EMT Instructor Steve Hudson and LDHS Athletic Trainer and Sports Medicine Teacher Erin Hahn review exercises before the students begin hands-on lesson.
•    Officials cut the ribbon for the high school’s ambulance trainer on March 29.
•    A peek inside the ambulance trainer.