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TSTC Graduate Joins EMS Workforce as a Paramedic

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Recent TSTC Emergency Medical Services graduate Francisco Loza has accepted a job as a full-time paramedic with South Texas Emergency Care Foundation. (Photo courtesy of TSTC.)
Recent TSTC Emergency Medical Services graduate Francisco Loza has accepted a job as a full-time paramedic with South Texas Emergency Care Foundation. (Photo courtesy of TSTC.)
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HARLINGEN, Texas – When demand for health care professionals increased during the pandemic, Francisco Loza heard the call and decided to help.

He enrolled in the Emergency Medical Services program at Texas State Technical College’s Harlingen location, where he was awarded a certificate of completion in Emergency Medical Services – EMT in 2023, followed by an Associate of Applied Science degree in Paramedic at the Spring 2024 Commencement.

“I was first hired as a part-time emergency medical technician with the South Texas Emergency Care (STEC) Foundation in Harlingen in 2023,” he said. “Last month I was promoted to a full-time paramedic.”

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Loza acquired certifications from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians and a state license from Texas Health and Human Services to be classified as a paramedic.

The Port Isabel resident said his job at STEC, which provides both emergency and nonemergency ground ambulance service to most of the Rio Grande Valley, is about patient care.

“Everybody on the team is skilled and competent in our abilities to manage patients in a high-stress environment and provide the best patient care,” he said.

Leo Carrasco is a paramedic supervisor for STEC.

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“Francisco is a go-getter who loves his job,” he said. “He motivates his fellow teammates to perform at a higher level on the job.”

Loza said the training that he received in his clinicals and as an EMT prepared him well for his current job.

“The experience with STEC, the South Padre Island Fire Department, the Weslaco Fire Department and Med-Care EMS in McAllen was amazing,” he said. “It was motivating to see how medical providers connected with their patients and gave them the help they needed.”

Luis Martinez was one of Loza’s instructors at TSTC.

“Francisco’s positive attitude left a lasting impression on his classmates and the instructors,” he said. “He was very knowledgeable with the skills in our program. His perseverance makes him a great fit for his career as a paramedic.”

Loza has one goal in particular that he is determined to accomplish.

“I would like to grow as a medical professional and become a physician,” he said.

According to onetonline.org, the need for paramedics was expected to grow 19% between 2020 and 2030 in Texas, where the average annual salary is $52,050.

In its Emergency Medical Services program, TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Paramedic, as well as certificates of completion in Emergency Medical Services – EMT, Emergency Medical Services – Advanced EMT AEMT and Emergency Medical Services – Paramedic. The program is available at the Abilene, Brownwood and Harlingen locations.

Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.

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