Dallas County students interested in learning more about becoming an Emergency Management Technician, or EMT, are invited to attend a career day at the DMACC Perry VanKirk Career Academy on March 12.


DMACC offers career days for fields like welding, auto and teaching at other sites. The EMT career day will be the first held at the Perry location since Eddie Diaz started as the director last year.


“We’re going to host an EMT program next school year,” Diaz said. “We thought what better way to promote than to show students a little bit a glimpse of what this type of career would look like.”


Area students from Perry, Dallas Center-Grimes, Panorama, Ogden and more will come to the VanKirk Career Academy from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12.


The students will start at the academy, where they will have activities related to EMT, health occupation and more. After lunch, the students will tour Dallas County Hospital to get a look at the variety of careers offered there.


The career day event will then include a tour of the Dallas County EMS building near the hospital. Diaz added that he hopes the Perry Volunteer Fire Department will also be on hand to offer activities during the career day.


Around 22 students are currently signed up and Diaz said they hope to have 30 come on March 12. Perry has a conflict with the junior class, as they will be taking an ACT class that day. There are a few Perry students coming, but Diaz also invites area students to attend the career day.


Local schools have the registration information, but students can also register on their own.


Diaz said the EMT career day is a good way to showcase the new EMT program DMACC will be offering at the Perry location next school year.


Metro fire departments had approached DMACC about offering an EMT and fire science course as they were having problems recruiting.


The Ankeny campus offered a course this year, but Diaz said next year they plan to only offer an EMT course. The fire rescue side requires more on-the-job training, equipment and certification.


After talking with community members, Diaz approached DMACC about also offering an EMT course in Perry.


DMACC agreed and Perry will have its first class of 12 students starting the EMT program in fall of 2019.


“The cool thing is it’s one of our only programs where if you take it for the entire semester, you’ll get your EMT certification and you can have that to literally go do the work you’re trained for right off the bat,” Diaz said.


The class is geared for high school students and it will be limited to three students from each school. The EMT course joins the other Career Academy courses, where high schoolers can take DMACC credits at no cost to them.


The students will earn six EMT credits. Those credits will be earned through class time and ride along opportunities. The students will also earn one credit of career exploration.


Diaz said they will spend 15 hours working with their hometown fire department to learn more about being a volunteer firefighter.


More programs like the EMT one may be added to the Perry DMACC location in the future, though Diaz said it will depend on the needs of the community.


“We want to build things that are sustainable, that people want and that can really help our students enter the workforce,” Diaz said. “This one (EMT) is a perfect example and we’ll probably use it as an example for other ones, to have career days for other fields next year.”