Answering the call

Foon.jpg

Associate professor Gerald Foon (left) demonstrates life-saving techniques on a simulator dummy for students in the paramedics program at Southwest Tennessee Community College. Photo by Brad Luttrell.

The peace and quiet is broken by emergency sirens. Soon the distant thump of a medical helicopter gets louder. In communities across West Tennessee, paramedics arrive on the scene and administer life-saving care taught by Gerald Foon, ME’74.

For nearly 40 years, Foon has taught more than 1,000 paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) at Southwest Tennessee Community College, formerly known as Shelby State Community College in Memphis.

“I was fortunate to get in on the ground floor of a new profession,” he says. Prior to the 1970s, emergency medical transportation was often provided by funeral homes, with little or no medical care being administered.

After receiving his engineering degree from Rolla, Foon moved to Tennessee and enrolled in Southwest, which was offering the state’s first paramedic program. After finishing his courses in 1975, he was asked to join the college’s faculty. In addition to teaching, Foon worked as a flight paramedic with the Memphis Police Department Helicopter Aviation Unit until 1984.

Currently an associate professor at Southwest, Foon previously served as chair of the college’s emergency medical technology department from 1978 to 1998. Under his leadership, the paramedic program became the first in the state and the 14th in the country to receive national accreditation from the Committee on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

The Tennessee Emergency Medical Services Education Association recognized Foon with a lifetime achievement award in 2004.

“My calling in life was not to be an engineer, but what I learned at Rolla helped me understand the treatments, new technology and procedures needed to teach my paramedics how to save a human life,” he says.

Around the Puck

Q&A: Miners got game

What was the most memorable sports team during your time on campus? As part of his research for the S&T 150th history book, Larry Gragg, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor emeritus of history and political science, asked you to share your memories. Here are a few of your answers.

[Read More...]

Honoring new academy members

In October, 12 alumni and friends were inducted into Missouri S&T academies. Academy membership recognizes careers of distinction and invites members to share their wisdom, influence and resources with faculty and students. Some academies hold induction ceremonies in the fall, others in the spring.

[Read More...]

Boosting cyber-physical security

A wide array of complex systems that rely on computers — from public water supply systems and electric grids to chemical plants and self-driving vehicles — increasingly come under not just digital but physical attacks. Bruce McMillin, professor and interim chair of computer science at Missouri S&T, is looking to change that by developing stronger safeguards […]

[Read More...]

MXene discovery could improve energy storage

In spite of their diminutive size, 2-D titanium carbide materials known as MXenes are “quite reactive” to water, a discovery S&T researchers say could have implications for energy storage and harvesting applications such as batteries, supercapacitors and beyond. Their findings were published in 2018 in the American Chemical Society journal Inorganic Chemistry.

[Read More...]

A faster charge for electric vehicles

One drawback of electric vehicles (EVs) is the time it takes to charge them. But what if you could plug in your EV and fully charge it as quickly as it takes to fill up a conventional car with gasoline? Missouri S&T researchers, in collaboration with three private companies, are working to make speedy charging […]

[Read More...]