NEWARK, Ohio, August 17, 2017 – When Angela Simmons graduated with a nursing technology degree from Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) in 2003, she knew she wanted to help save lives in her community. Simmons didn't realize then that she would help open and manage a medical service facility that could be the difference between life and death for patients in Licking County.
"Air Evac Lifeteam opened a base in Licking County in 2012 after a local fire chief pointed out the lack of timely access to helicopter patient transports in the region," said Simmons. "I am proud to be able to bring this service to the area I grew up in."
Simmons is the program director at the Air Evac Lifeteam base located in St. Lousiville. She manages a staff of 16. The base serves patients in a 70 mile radius of St. Louisville. Air Evac EMS, Inc., which operates Air Evac Lifeteam, is the largest independently owned and operated membership-supported air medical service in the United States, conducting its operations through 125 mutually supporting air medical bases across 15 states. The company has established itself as the preeminent provider of air ambulance services to communities in need of advanced emergency health care and rapid medical transport.
Simmons loves her job and realizes she wouldn't have had this opportunity had it not been for COTC.
"I graduated from Heath High School in 1990 and did not go to college right away. I had a family first," said Simmons. "I later got divorced and knew I couldn't support my two children with the job I was doing. So, I needed to get a college degree."
Pictured above: Simmons (center) with members of Air Evac Lifeteam in St. Louisville
Simmons graduated from COTC after two years and quickly found employment. She worked at Mount Carmel East in the emergency room and then became a nurse manager at an urgent care. Simmons also worked in case management at a surgery center in Newark before coming to Air Evac.
"COTC gave me the tools to do what I needed to do. It gave me the organizational skills and training to get where I am now," said Simmons. "By being relatively inexpensive and close to home, COTC allowed me to raise two kids, be a single mom, work full time and go to school full time. I couldn't have done it any other way."
COTC was ranked number one in Ohio and number 19 in the nation by PayScale in its 2016-17 College Salary Report ranking the best community and career colleges by salary potential. COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.