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Class During Covid: Paramedic Academy students pass key benchmarks

Ten Student Paramedics step closer to serving area communities
Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 1:38 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -Since August, through Madison College lectures, labs, clinicals, and real-life calls, Tasha Kirch and nine other classmates have been pursuing their dream of becoming paramedics through the Madison College Paramedic Academy.

In Tasha’s case, it was a dream to serve inspired by a nightmare in her neighborhood when Tasha was just 9. A girl her age and four other children died in a fire across the street from Tasha’s apartment. She said, “I lived at Somerset Circle in 1990 when that big fire happened. I think that’s kind of what got me going on this path "

Tasha Kirch and her brother
Tasha Kirch and her brother(WMTV)
Madison Fire Department Firefighter Tasha Kirch,  In this photo, she was training with crews at...
Madison Fire Department Firefighter Tasha Kirch, In this photo, she was training with crews at Madison Fire Station 4 across from Camp Randall Stadium.(WMTV)

She became a firefighter in 2019, and decided to work toward becoming a paramedic through the Madison College Paramedic Academy.

On the day we caught up with her to check on her progress, Tasha was on duty at Madison Fire Station 6, less than half a mile from her childhood home. She’s wrapping up the next phase of her course work, taking the lead on real paramedic calls under the supervision of certified paramedics.

Tasha said, “It’s been going great. I’ve got some new tools in my toolbox. I’ve gained a great appreciation for my crew, my co-workers, and the community I serve.”

Tasha Kirch in paramedic training at Madison Fire Station 6 on West Badger Road.
Tasha Kirch in paramedic training at Madison Fire Station 6 on West Badger Road.(WMTV)

In between field training, earlier this month Tasha and the other Paramedic Academy students had to make it through a challenging problem-solving hands-on test called the National Registry Psychomotor Exam.

She passed, along with the rest of the class.

Tasha told me, ”It feels amazing. After completing that psychomotor skill exam at MATC I literally teared up. It was just amazing to see I had achieved that goal and see these things come to reality.“

Now that Tasha’s just about to wrap up her field training, she only has to pass the National Registry Paramedic Cognitive (written) Exam before she’ll be officially licensed to serve as a Madison Fire Department paramedic, most likely in May.

She said the field work has been invaluable: ”I feel like I’ve learned a lot--mostly about empathy and compassion for the community. Just kind of being in the classroom and doing simulated clinicals and actually having (real) patients is a...big difference. There have been a couple of calls where you kind of stand back and you realize this is real. It’s real cool, though.”

Through this challenging year of intensive class and lab work during COVID, Tasha’s daughter has worked to keep her positive...and keep her eyes on her goal. Tasha said, with a chuckle, “She’s cool. I think she likes talking about me more than I like talking about me. So, it’s cool for her and her friends.”

If Tasha could go back and tell her 9-year-old self something...or any other young person for that matter...she’d say, ”Dream big! The opportunity to help people is amazing! It’s hard work, but well worth every step.

And if someone’s thinking of becoming a paramedic, Tasha said, “Let’s do it! I think it’s great. I’ll help them along the journey. It’s hard work, but well worth every step.“

For more information on the Madison College Paramedic Program . For information on the Madison College EMT Program .

Tasha Kirch with her daughter
Tasha Kirch with her daughter(Tasha Kirch)

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