JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A new program for emergency responders will now be available at Arkansas State University.
Arkansas State received approval by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board on Friday to implement two new high demand programs for emergency response personnel.
Program Director Sara Walker said they decided to look into starting the program after learning from the community that there was a need.
"We had several members of the community, senior paramedics, and EMS instructors approach the college of nursing and health professions," Walker said. "They spoke with Dean Hanrahan about the need for competent, quality EMS paramedics."
Walker said their people began to investigate how big of a need there was.
"At that point Dr. Persell," Walker said. "The Director of Regional Center of Disaster Preparedness Education, she began an investigation into how big the need was. And there was a need."
Walker said what makes the A\-State program so great are all the available resources they have.
"We have the resources and the capabilities to create a stellar EMS education," Walker said. "We have the opportunity to collaborate with other health profession education programs in the college. We have a state of the art classroom ambulance simulator. This is the first of its kind in the state of Arkansas. Our high fidelity mannequin, which his used for simulation training, is the first of its kind in the world. Our students will be able to participate in a gross anatomy lab."
The EMT program will prepare students for entry-level practice as an emergency medical technician.
Individuals who complete the EMT training will receive a certificate of proficiency and be qualified to take the national registry exam for EMT.
Students in the Associate of Applied Science program in disaster preparedness and emergency management also can apply this coursework toward their degree.
The paramedic program prepares students for entry-level practice.
The emergency medical technician program is a twelve-hour credit program, while the more advanced paramedic training will be fifty-one credit hours.
Similarly, paramedic students also can apply their coursework toward an Associate of Applied Science in paramedic, which includes additional hours in general education.
Walker said this program has been a long time coming.
"This has been months of hard work," Walker said. "We're extremely thrilled to bring this program to Arkansas State."
Walker said both programs will be offered this fall semester.
They have openings in both EMT and paramedic programs for ten students.
Both programs offer options on certification and college credit.
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