Kathleen Wilcox: The student becomes the teacher ‣ Laurel Ridge Community College
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Kathleen Wilcox: The student becomes the teacher

two people standing by helicopter
Kathleen Wilcox, left, with another Laurel Ridge graduate, Carolyn Trent, a flight medic.

The baby Kathleen Wilcox almost delivered while taking a final exam for her Paramedic program at Laurel Ridge Community College now sometimes accompanies her when she teaches classes at the college.

“I was pregnant with my daughter during the first part of paramedic school and I was actually in labor during our cardiology final,” Wilcox recalled. “I was in denial! I went on to have a very healthy baby. She likes to help teach.”

Wilcox went on to become an adjunct at the college after graduating with her paramedic certification in 2016. She is a clinical coordinator for the Emergency Medical Technician program. Additionally, Wilcox works for the Frederick County Department of Fire and Rescue.

“Laurel Ridge’s Paramedic program is great,” she said. “We learned a lot. The classmates that I had made it great to go through. It is a great place to come and learn with realistic instructors who come from a variety of backgrounds. It’s a great program. I hope it continues to grow.”

Before coming to Laurel Ridge, Wilcox had earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and had worked as a team leader at a Valley Health Urgent Care. Her career change was inspired by her family.

“My dad was in law enforcement, so I knew I wanted to be a first responder in some capacity, but I didn’t know how exactly,” said Wilcox, who now works as an EMS billing specialist for Frederick County Department of Fire and Rescue. “I love the emergency field.”

Unfortunately, a heart condition has prevented Wilcox from working as a critical care and flight paramedic.

“I was diagnosed on the day that I found out I passed my test to be a flight paramedic,” she said.

Learn more about Laurel Ridge’s paramedic program at laurelridge.edu/paramedic.

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.