EMS Graduate Saves A Life

Mark RignolaA recent graduate from the Carteret CC Emergency Medical Science program, Firefighter Paramedic Mark Rignola found his new paramedic skills put to the ultimate test. While on shift at the Morehead City Fire Department, a woman pulled into the parking lot beeping her horn and yelling for help. Her husband, also in the car, was suffering from a heart attack. Rignola assessed the patient and found him to be unresponsive, pulseless, and apneic. He immediately began CPR.

“I knew we didn’t have much time and I needed to start CPR right away,” said Rignola. “In the moment I didn’t even have to think, my training just kicked into action.”

With the arrival of additional crew members, responders worked together to provide immediate defibrillation, continuous CPR, and administration of Epinephrine. Within eight minutes, Rignola and his crew members were able to restore the man’s heart function. The patient regained consciousness, responded to questions appropriately, and was transported to the local hospital. The quick actions of Rignola and the other members of Morehead City Fire Department saved the man’s life.

“Looking back on the situation, I am so grateful for my training from Carteret CC,” says Rignola. “The instruction I received prepared me for this exact scenario and gave me the confidence to respond quickly while under pressure.”

Students enrolled in the EMS program at Carteret CC can take the paramedic state exam after successful completion of five semesters and students already credentialed as EMTs can take the exam after just four semesters. In 2020, the EMS students at Carteret CC had a 100% pass rate on the state exam and 100% job placement after graduation.

“Firefighter Paramedic Rignola’s life saving actions are just another example of the level of excellence within the Morehead City Fire Department,” says Fire Chief Jamie Fulk. “The EMS program at Carteret CC provides quality training and we are happy to have those graduates join our department.”

To learn more about the EMS program at Carteret CC contact program chair Christine Turner at (252) 222-6082 or [email protected].