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OCTC’s paramedic program partners to increase EMTs

In Education, Local, News by OC Monitor Staff

OWENSBORO, Ky. — Owensboro Community & Technical College Paramedic Technology program is partnering with Daviess County Fiscal Court, Daviess County Fire Department, Owensboro Fire Department, and AMR Ambulance Service to deliver an accelerated paramedic course for first responders. The first cohort of twelve will begin in January 2022.

“Pre-COVID we knew that there was an challenge before us in increasing the number of paramedics for our region,” said Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly. “Post-COVID this is a national issue, and we think this partnership is a way to skill up some of our current employees and increase the number of paramedics in the pipeline to ensure the best care for our community. This has the potential to serve as a model for the rest of the state and the nation.”

“Currently OFD and DCFD offer financial incentives to employees who earn and maintain this professional licensure. We are grateful to be able to do offer this accelerated course in partnership with the college and all the participating partners,” added Colter Tate, HR Development Battalion Chief for Owensboro Fire Department.

“Even though the program can be completed in a year, it is not abbreviated. All work and courses required are the same in this program only compressed into a year time frame. The OCTC program is accredited and that is important for students in that it ensures the program is preparing the graduates to take the national certification test, it adds additional value for the students and ensures a strong knowledge and skill base for the graduates,” said Scott Williams, OCTC President.

OCTC’s Paramedic program is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Service Professions (CoAEMSP). The curricula meets paramedic instructional guidelines set forth by the National EMS Education Standards and the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services (KBEMS). Graduates are eligible to take the Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic (EMT-P) National Registry Examination.

Joe Dennison was named as the coordinator of the OCTC Paramedic Technology program in 2018, after serving as lead paramedic instructor at Western Kentucky University for five years.

Dennison added, “We are fortunate to have folks on staff and at the partnering entities who meet the qualifications to teach this program. We can deliver it online and onsite at various locations so it will make it easier for current employees to skill up, gain this credential, and the region will be better equipped with more trained paramedics. While this initial cohort is limited to current partner employees, we are open to exploring expansion of these offerings.”

Brian Short, Senior Program Director for AMR, relayed that he is proud to provide some of the instructors for the program.

“AMR is also paying a large portion of the tuition for our EMTs that were selected to participate,” Short said. “This will allow our employees to earn an Associate degree at a minimal cost to them. We look forward to being a part of this process, and partnering with the other agencies to help reduce the shortage of paramedics in the Owensboro/Daviess County area.”

Paramedics Technology is a limited admissions program that will prepare students to deliver emergency care in a variety of environments including ambulance, mobile life support units, and industrial sites, to acutely ill or injured patients. Prospective students are required to be a certified EMT upon acceptance into the program. Credit may be awarded to currently practicing paramedics toward the Associate in Applied Science degree. To learn more, contact [email protected] or call 270-499-8269.

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