BROWNSVILLE, Texas – When Ashley Salinas was a child, she would put together small first aid kits to use on her family, friends, and even small animals that needed her help.
Now the 25-year-old Texas Southmost College alumna, who graduated in 2015 with an associate degree from the college’s Emergency Medical Science program, is fulfilling a calling she first discovered as a child.
“I always knew my purpose was to help,” said Salinas. “I’m glad TSC has helped me fulfill that mission.”
The McAllen native commutes a little over two hours to her dream job as a paramedic in Sinton with Allegiance Mobile Health.
Prior to Allegiance, she worked with MedCare EMS in McAllen for three years.
Now in her fourth year as a paramedic, she said TSC was a huge stepping-stone for her.
“I’m grateful every day that I was able to get a quality education close to home,” said Salinas. “TSC laid the foundation I needed to get the skills and knowledge to be a successful paramedic.”
It was during her time as a supervisor at Schlitterbahn on South Padre Island that she met a number of emergency medical technicians who had graduated from TSC’s Emergency Medical Science program, and it came highly recommended.
“The program left no surprises to what I would experience in the field,” said Salinas. “They prepared us well through use of advanced technology and knowledgeable instructors.”
Salinas’ training included interactive mannequins, simulation labs and ambulance, pool water rescues and clinical rotations at local EMS companies.
“The driving force behind the success we see as students and the program’s success are the instructors,” she said. “When we’re nervous they calm us down, when we’re unsure they give us confidence and they always give insight and guide us.”
Since graduating from TSC’s EMS program, Salinas has had her share of adventures in the field where she has applied what she learned at TSC.
From delivering her first baby to the recent global pandemic, the job has been challenging for the TSC alumna.
“The job is definitely not an easy one, but I love it,” she said. “Every experience is different and humbling, but having a good support system at home makes all the difference.”
Salinas said without shoulders to cry on and ears to listen, the job can take a toll, which is why, besides its highly contagious nature, COVID-19 has brought its personal challenges.
“It’s been isolating,” she said. “I’ve taken social distancing to heart. I’m exposed daily to COVID-19 positive patients and even though we take all the precautionary efforts, I want to make sure I keep my family and friends safe.”
Salinas said she highly recommends TSC’s EMS program to anyone who is interested in becoming a paramedic.
She said TSC not only helped her fulfill a dream, but it also gave her the confidence she needed to continue her education to become a registered nurse and certified registered nurse anesthetist.
“TSC made all the difference,” said Salinas. “It has allowed me to continue my commitment to helping people and have a positive impact on other people’s lives.”
Spring 2021 registration began Oct. 15.
For more information about TSC’s Emergency Medical Science program, visit tsc.edu.