Interactive Video Conferencing Extends Classroom into Firehouse
OGDEN, Utah – Students in Emergency Care & Rescue courses at Weber State University can now benefit from first-hand accounts from paramedics in the field, right in the classroom.
And current paramedics can keep abreast of the latest medical techniques without ever leaving their stations. It’s all part of a new interactive, video-conferencing program WSU is unveiling this fall in partnership with northern Utah Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies.
“We’re using cutting-edge technology to economically provide education to the extended campus,” said Jeff Grunow, chairman of the department of Emergency Care & Rescue at WSU. “Students in our classroom learn from the EMTs in the field, and they in turn receive key course work needed to meet the state’s requirement of 25 hours of continuing education each year.”
Adjunct faculty member, Allen Lore, a recent graduate of WSU, has been busy installing the equipment at participating agencies. The program plans to initially have video-conferencing abilities at six locations in northern Utah, including three fire stations in Ogden and one in Roy. Lore said the spirit of cooperation between local EMS agencies and the university was critical to launching the program.
Grunow believes rural communities will embrace this new resource and that may be just the beginning.
“This is the key for WSU to reach its extended campus, whether that’s in Utah, the Intermountain West, or eventually the nation,” Grunow said. Other departments within the Dumke College of Health Professions plan to use the interactive technology to reach a broader audience.
In addition to live, interactive classroom sessions, agencies will be able to access an archive of recorded presentations for further instruction.
Funding for the program came from a Fund for Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE) grant. The Dumke College of Health Professions is grateful for Senator Bob Bennett’s guidance in ensuring that WSU's health professions program remains competitive in securing federal resources to sustain and increase its commitment to Utah and the Intermountain West.
Bruce H. Champion
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