Cervantes, Stanley Earn EMT Certification

January 08, 2021 By: Carla Hulsey

For many Texans in rural communities, it's emergency medical services (EMS) agency may be their only access to emergent health care needs. Often, EMS agencies are supplemented by volunteer first responder organizations, like in Smithville, Texas, who comprise of residents trained as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).

Two UT Police employees with the detachment unit in Smithville recently stepped in fill this critical need by obtaining their EMT certifications.

Fulfilling the need of more EMTs - especially in sparsely populated areas - relies on volunteer citizens like Senior Public Safety Officer Alicia Cervantes and Public Safety Officer Brittny Stanley to provide EMT services.

To become an EMT requires months of study. In November 2020, Cervantes and Stanley successfully completed their EMT certifications.

"There is discussion about police officers becoming EMTs, which are needed in cities like Smithville," said Captain Wayne Smith, who oversees uniformed operations for The Virginia Harris Cockrell Cancer Research Center at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. "I can see in the future security personnel receiving higher levels of training. It could be 4, 5, 10 years down the road, but I can see police officers as certified EMTs."

Cervantes transferred to the Smithville detachment unit from UT Police's Houston location in 2019. Since her relocation, Cervantes pursued opportunities to lead different medical and tactical trainings within the department, such as tourniquet and tactile emergency casualty care training.

Since completing her own certification, Stanley has signed up with Bastrop County First Responders, Inc., a first responders organization led by a group of volunteer citizens and comprised of trained individuals who live and work in and around Bastrop County. They respond to emergencies on and off campus and provide medical care until local EMS units arrive to a medical emergency. Further on, Stanley aspires to become a police officer where her skills and experiences also can serve the public.

Together, Cervantes and Stanley are fulfilling critical needs within the department and throughout their community.

"This is a huge personal and professional achievement for Cervantes and Stanley," Smith said. "They are ahead of the curve."

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