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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Rancho Cordova’s Respiratory Therapy program students take on the dirty dozen

July 1, 2015

Rancho Cordova Vent RaceIt takes 12 full laps around the course at the Rancho Cordova campus to complete the 5K “Vent” race, and when competitors are pushing a 4-foot-tall, 5-legged, 50-lb. mechanical ventilator, each team feels every one of them.

Four student Respiratory Therapy teams of 5-7 runners and one faculty team gave it all they had in this 3rd annual event held on campus June 5th from 9 a.m. until noon. More than 100 students and nearly as many visitors – comprised of students’ friends and family members – first attended an Open House, where attendees enjoyed class and lab tours before moving to the main event of the 5K race.

“Our students’ families and friends visited classrooms and got to see what we are doing here,” says Robert Vosper, Facilities Clerk. “Some students put on demonstrations of the skills they have learned.”

The 5K Vent Race was spearheaded by the American Respiratory Care Foundation (ARCF) and launched at the American Association for Respiratory Care in 2006. Ventilators literally breathe life back into people who cannot breathe on their own. It is also a very bulky machine to move through the paces of a 5K race.

“It wasn’t just a foot race,” says Rob. “It took a lot more effort for teams to push an actual mechanical ventilator machine that we use in patient treatments.”

The races began at 10 a.m. and concluded about a half hour later, to great appreciation from the crowd. Everyone enjoyed lunch before leaving the campus.

“This race promotes teamwork among the students who come up with designs for decorating their assigned vents, and then compete for the best decorated vent – and against each other to complete the 5K race course,” says Rob.

Team members decorated their vents and many runners dressed to match their chosen theme. Wins were possible both for fastest 5K time and for best vent decoration.

“Our theme was Wizard of Oz, and we decorated our vent as the Emerald City,” says Leysa Wagner, Respiratory Therapy student, whose entire co-hort 25 class spent several days on construction. “We made it look like the castle in Emerald City and had a rainbow and hot air balloon with Toto in it. We also dressed up as characters; I was Dorothy and we had the lion, tin man, scarecrow, bad witch, good witch Glinda, lollipop kids, flying monkeys; and someone even dressed up as a tornado.”

It is easy to understand why Team Wizard of Oz was selected by Judge Sherleen Bose of the California Society for Respiratory Care to win the Best Decorated Vent category. Team “Cool Running” took the win for the 5K Vent Race.

Team Rosters:

Wizard of Oz: Jeanine Agredano, Amber Bard, Gina Berger, Angelina Boyle, Destiny Bruno, Dan Carp, Siena Chavez, Letha Durham, Christopher Farrish, Tim Garcia, Mario Gonzalez, Mathew Heard, Mone Herrera, Ryan McColley, Mallorie Mullendore, Rusian Nazarenko, Paul Ortiz, Mark Quimbo, Christine Rieger, Ashley Sakamoto, Pavandeep Sangha, Jessica Sheldon, Megan Staff, Tou Thao, Juana Varghese, Jared Vitt, Leysa Wagner and Katie Way

Cool Running: Clive Galam, Alex Steelman, Emily Jacobson, Natalie Hawkins and Sharanjit Samra

Winning teams in both categories are memorialized by having their names added to a plaque mounted on a wall at the Rancho Cordova campus.