Bangs senior ready to begin career as emergency medical technician

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
Kenley Johnson

BANGS -- At age 18, Kenley Johnson has already found that she likes riding in the back of an ambulance. And she’ll have many more opportunities to do so.

Johnson is a Bangs High School senior who graduated earlier this month from Ranger College’s emergency medical technician (EMT) course. Johnson took the course as a duel-credit student in Bangs High School’s partnership with Ranger College, and she is the first Bangs student to go through the EMT course.

“She’s an 18-year-old  with a career path right now,” Bangs superintendent Dr. Josh Martin said.

Johnson took the course online in a Bangs High School classroom and attended Saturday classes one or two times a month at the Ranger College location in Stephenville.

The EMT course is one of several “pathways” Bangs High School offers  under the umbrella of Career and Technical Education.

Other pathways are:

• Education

• Welding

• Culinary

• Animal science

• Real estate

• Business management

• Nursing

• Pharmacy

• Drone pilot license

• STEM

Johnson has one more step before being ready to go to work: taking the National Registry Exam, which she’ll do in Abilene.

Her goal is to work for awhile as an EMT — hopefully in Brownwood or Comanche — before going to paramedic school. Her ultimate goal is to work as a flight medic or flight nurse on a helicopter.

“I’ve always loved the medical field,” Johnson said. “It’s something different every day.”

As an EMT student through Ranger, Johnson went on several real medical calls and rode in the back of an ambulance.

“It was cool. I love riding in the back of an ambulance,” Johnson said. “Like I said, it’s something different every day. And you get to interact with people, get to talk to them about their day, even though it’s not going the best at the moment.

 “I got to do stuff. You do whatever the paramedic wants you to do because you’ve been trained in those skills.”

Bangs High School counselor Jennier Walzel said other students interested in the EMT program because of Johnson and the success she’s had.

“They can see what an opportunity she’s gotten — to go straight to a career,” Walzel said.