AdventHealth Redmond EMS provided the Polk County College and Career Academy with one of their ambulances coming out of the fleet, which is the perfect opportunity for current and future students a chance to learn by doing with the tools the professionals use every day.

This donation came about as a collaboration between two men with long experience in the healthcare industry on the front lines bringing patients to hospitals.

It started as a conversation between Chuck Thaxton, a Healthcare Teacher at the College and Career Academy and AdventHealth Redmond EMS head Marty Robinson. (The two are also elected officials, of note. Thaxton sits on the County Commission, while Robinson is a Rockmart City Council Member.)

The two bounced the idea around and Robinson over time had an ambulance ready to come out of AdventHealth Redmond EMS’s fleet. The November 30 donation comes with a working ambulance that was partially stocked with many of the items that will be used by these students who go onto become paramedics.

“This will allow us to provide the kind of practical experience our kids need,” Thaxton said as officials gathered as officials from the area health organization and the school district gathered to turn over the ambulance. “Anything we can do to get our kids out of the classroom and into an environment that they are going to be in long term is beneficial. We’re going to put this to a lot of good use.”

Robinson noted that in his role these days, he’s happy to get as many of the current and future students he can get to become paramedics.

“We need all the hands that we can get to help patients around Northwest Georgia, and being able to do something simple like this to help get more of our kids onto a path where they could one day be helping patients inside of an ambulance like this, it makes good sense to make this happen,” Robinson said.

Superintendent Dr. Katie Thomas – who previously was CEO of the College and Career Academy and responsible for ushering in opportunities like the CCA’s Healthcare program – was additionally thankful for AdventHealth Redmond’s donation. She also noted the usefulness of the vehicle “allowing students to gain firsthand experience in a realistic setting.”

“We are grateful to Advent Health for their extraordinary generosity and commitment to supporting our students’ educational journey with this immersive learning experience,” she said.

Three of those who came from PSD’s Healthcare program were at Thursday’s brief ceremony.

Payton Goodson, who is about to finish up her paramedic program in Temple, and Leah Phanmanee and Elia Lucas-Vail, who are already full fledged paramedics, came along for this ambulance’s final ride with Redmond for the delivery. The trio got to make a visit to their alma mater in the CCA as they are all graduates from Polk School District – two RHS and one CHS graduate – in recent years.

They provide an example of how now that the PSD has another asset in its toolbox for students, it’ll ultimately pay dividends in the future.

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