HGTC students get hands-on lesson from Carolina LifeCare

A Carolina LifeCare aircraft lands at HGTC to give paramedic students a chance to get some hands-on learning experience.

Paramedic students studying at Horry Georgetown Technical College got a lesson in the field from Carolina LifeCare Wednesday.

"We actually bring in the aircraft and let them take a look at it, let them see how to operate around it, and that way when they go out into the field and they're taking care of patients in the streets, they'll know the basics on how to get us in safely and how to take care of patients," Carolina LifeCare Flight Paramedic JoJo Turbeville said.

The students first listened to a presentation in the classroom about landing zone instruction, helicopter operations and safety before the OmniFlight helicopter landed on the soccer field at the Myrtle Beach campus.

"We bring the aircraft out and it gives them a hands on experience to actually put their hands on the aircraft and see what we're talking about more than a theoretical aspect. Soon these guys and gals will be going out in the field and taking care of patients who dial 911 and need emergency care and part of that care is actually bringing in the helicopter when it's appropriate," Turbeville added.

Carolina LifeCare plays a unique role in emergency situations because it reduces the time it takes to get a patient to the hospital when a something traumatic happens.

"We bypass a facility that maybe can't handle the problem right then. The main thing is the speed and the way we transport. Now, if you put someone in an ambulance they have to go down set roads, and they can only run so fast. We're up in the air 1,000 feet. We're flying at 140 to 150 mph and it's a straight line of distance, so we're basically able to get them to appropriate care a lot faster than by ambulance."

Turbeville says Wednesday's exercise gives the students an advantage by learning in the field.

"I'm really proud of them. They're going through and they're learning the trade and learning a job that a lot of people just don't want to do," Turbeville said.