Sullivan BOCES offers EMT program 

‘So that others may live’

Posted 6/19/24

SWAN LAKE, NY — The Sullivan BOCES Career & Technical Education (CTE) recently created a New York State-certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program for the 2023-2024 school year. …

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Sullivan BOCES offers EMT program 

‘So that others may live’


SWAN LAKE, NY — The Sullivan BOCES Career & Technical Education (CTE) recently created a New York State-certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program for the 2023-2024 school year. It was presented at the Sullivan County Emergency Services Training Center.

Upon completion, the innovative program offers students career opportunities in the medical field including EMTs (paid or volunteer), dispatchers, emergency room discharge coordinators and occupational health technicians.

It is offered through the local BOCES health services curriculum, and the program requires 432 hours of study consisting of 216 hours of health science core, 108 hours of clinical experience, and 108 hours of theory—taught by Darryl Raynor and assisted by Joanne Evan.

At present, 13 local high school students are enrolled, representing their home schools of Liberty, Monticello, Fallsburg, Roscoe and Sullivan West. They attend classes in the morning and afternoon.

Now in his 28th year in the field of emergency medical services, Raynor started out with the Monticello Ambulance Corps, then joined the Hurleyville Volunteer Fire Department. He later became captain of the Hurleyville first aid squad and started his EMT career path with Mobile Life Support Services.

He is a certified CPR, first aid and EMT instructor, and the new BOCES class represents his fourth time teaching a NYS EMT course.

“Hopefully the students will become EMTs and be able to help their communities,” he said. “No matter where they go in life, EMT skills can be used anywhere.”

Noting that “I’d like to see the program increase in numbers,” Raynor—and Sullivan BOCES director of communications Donna Hemmer—explained that the new EMT program and the fledgling Fire Science program (which is scheduled to commence in September) are geared to complement each other.

The fire science program (see here) is designed for high school students in the 11th grade, while the EMT program is for high school seniors.

According to the organizers of the programs, the ultimate goal is to create a cadre of EMT-certified firefighters, along with excellent job opportunities for the graduates after high school.

The areas of study in the BOCES EMT class include taking vital signs and using diagnostic tools, airway management and oxygen therapy, cardiac arrest management and defibrillation, treatment of medical emergencies, medication administration, trauma management, assisting childbirth, ambulance operations, medical terminology, healthy behaviors, diseases and disease prevention, and health and safety practices.

Asked about the importance of EMTs in rural areas, Raynor said, “They can do a lot more than a first responder. They can recognize emergencies such as chest pains, that in certain illnesses mimic cardiac problems, and treat them appropriately.”

As part of the program, students ride on ambulances under supervision to observe and/or practice the skills they have learned in class. 

“We start out with a lot of lectures and then build up their skills, and they use those skills out in the field,” said Raynor.

Like volunteer fire departments across the nation and in our county, volunteer ambulance services are in dire need of new blood to fill the ranks.

“As the program grows, we hope the students will join the volunteer ambulance corps in their respective districts, and that will add another layer of care to the more experienced EMTs,” he said.

Bryce Corley is an 18-year-old senior at Monticello High School.

“I’ve always been interested in emergency medicine, and I hope I can get a job out of it,” he said of signing up for the Sullivan BOCES EMT course. “It seemed like the right place for me.”

His aunt is studying for her R.N. degree; his father serves as a sergeant with the Monticello PD; and his brother is a deputy with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office.

Darius Hope is an 18-year-old upperclassman at Monticello’s Home of the Panthers, who after graduation hopes to eventually get a job as a nurse.

“I got interested because of an option to keep going with BOCES,” he said. “I came in with a blank slate, and I’m getting a lot out of it.”

Rayanna Cottman, 18, a senior at Liberty High School, said both her sister and mother are in the medical field, and upon completion of the EMT course, would like to study to become an anesthesiologist.

Asked what she’s earned so far in the BOCES EMT class, Cottman replied, “Injuries and how to deal with them… hands-on practical exercises.”

For more information about the Sullivan BOCES EMT course, call 845/295-4152 or visit

sullivan, boces, emt, career & technical, education


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