EMS news conference on trainee death. (Reagan Hackleman/KXAN)
Updated: Tuesday, 06 Jul 2010, 7:25 PM CDT
Published : Tuesday, 06 Jul 2010, 2:09 PM CDT
KXAN (AUSTIN) - A 48-year-old man going through a physical assessment test for training as a local paramedic when EMS said he collapsed and died.
Austin-Travis County EMS Director Ernesto Rodriguez says the man was performing a physical assessment test when he collapsed.
"I would like to express my condolences to the family and to express to them that EMS is here to support them and provide what they need during this difficult time," said Rodriguez.
The man, who EMS is not identifying because some members of his family have not been notified of his death, was at the beginning of the process to become a EMS cadet.
EMS Chief of Staff, James Shamard says the man and four others were going through a physical assessment test involving seven stations.
The deceased man was at his first station, rolling a stretcher with a 185 pound mannequin across a lawn when he collapsed.
"Literally, we had paramedics at the patients side when he collapsed," says the Austin-Travis County Medical Director, Dr. Paul Hinchey .
Dr. Hinchey who was driving back to his office, which is in the same complex, responded to the scene and says the man suffered from a cardiac arrest.
"As disease, it's one of those things that's been difficult for us to define what causes it. Unfortunately many people who have sudden cardiac arrest have no prior medical history," Dr. Hinchey says.
EMS says the deceased man had no formal paramedic training, but did pass a health screening prior to today's incident.
According to EMS, there is no maximum age limit to become a certified paramedic in the State of Texas.
EMS says the training program will still go on as schedule but they will review the program after Tuesday's death.
According to the Austin-Travis County EMS website , of the 417 cardiac arrest patients treated by ATCEMS, less than 10% left the hospital alive. That percentage is higher than the national average of 7.2%.