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The City of Pharr Partners with RGV College to Enhance EMT Training

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Dr. Anabelle Palomo received the ambulance keys from Daniel Ramirez, the EMS Chief, and David Friedlein, Assistant City Manager of Pharr. Flanked by members of Pharr EMS. Photo by Roberto Hugo González
Dr. Anabelle Palomo received the ambulance keys from Daniel Ramirez, the EMS Chief, and David Friedlein, Assistant City Manager of Pharr. Flanked by members of Pharr EMS. Photo by Roberto Hugo González
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By Roberto Hugo González

In an innovative partnership to enhance the training of future Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), Daniel Ramirez, the EMS Chief of Pharr, Texas, announced a significant donation to the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) College’s EMT program. With over 31 years of public safety experience, Ramirez has been serving as the EMS Chief for two and a half years, during which he has spearheaded various initiatives created and supported by Dr. Ambrosio Hernandez Pharr City mayor and councilmembers to improve emergency medical services in the city.

The partnership with RGV College involves the donation of surplus ambulances from the City of Pharr to the college’s EMT program. Though older and with significant mileage, these vehicles are in excellent operational condition and are expected to provide nursing students with invaluable hands-on experience. “This is a good opportunity for us to donate an ambulance so that nursing students have better training on how to work inside an ambulance,” Ramirez stated. Traditionally, EMT students spend most of their training in classrooms, with limited opportunities to experience the real-world environment of an ambulance until they participate in clinical write-offs.

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Pharr Mayor Dr. Ambrosio Hernandez

The donated ambulance, a 2018 Types Three model with a van front end and a box back, comes fully equipped with a Ferno stretcher, a Stryker stair chair, and various medical supplies typical of an operational ambulance. With 200,000 miles on the odometer but well-maintained, this vehicle represents a significant upgrade in the practical training resources available to students. “It’s allowed to work in the ambulance, drive around the parking lot, and have the feel of what it’s like in the back of the ambulance,” Ramirez added, emphasizing the importance of real-world experience in preparing students for their future roles.

Even with the donation, students will still complete their clinical write-offs with the Pharr EMS as required by the Texas Department of State Health Services. However, the added benefit of practicing inside an ambulance before these assessments are expected to enhance their readiness and skills significantly. “When you’re in the back and you realize how much room you don’t have, then you work better because now you know what it’s like in the back of an ambulance,” explained Ramirez.

“This initiative not only serves the interests of our students but also promises significant benefits for our community. We deeply appreciate the support from Mayor Hernandez, the Pharr City Commission, and Pharr EMS in forging this path of success for our students at RGV College,” stated Dr. Anabelle Palomo, President/CEO of RGV College.

“In our pursuit of excellence in public service, today’s collaboration with RGV College marks a spectacular moment for the City of Pharr. Donating an ambulance is not just an act of giving; it’s investing in our future first responders, ensuring they have the practical tools and experiences to serve our community with the utmost efficiency and care,” said David Friedlein, Assistant City Manager of Pharr.

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Ramirez also thanked the city’s leadership for making this partnership possible. “It’s a pleasure to support them. We want to thank our mayor and city commission for allowing us to work together as a city and RGV College to provide better EMTs for the future,” he concluded.

The donated ambulance, valued at approximately $25,000, proves the City of Pharr and RGV College’s commitment to investing in the next generation of emergency medical professionals, ensuring they are better prepared to save lives and serve their communities.

RGV College is recognized as the second-largest institution for vocational nursing and allied health education in Texas.

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