EAC becomes the first Arizona community college to offer on-campus, paramedic-level emergency medical services

Photo By Lori Dugan/EAC: Eastern Arizona College’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program, with the help of Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, has created the first community college-based, paramedic-level EMS agency in Arizona. Pictured here, with their new Polaris Ranger that will be used to get to emergencies faster are, back row, from left, Mariah Austin, Sophie Witham, and Mary Farnsworth (EMS students); front row, from left, Cade Kelliher, EAC associate professor; Joseph Castaneda, EMS student;  John Clegg, EMS program director; and Drew Vigil, EMS student. 

By Kris McBride and Lori Dugan/EAC

THATCHER – Eastern Arizona College’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program, with the help of Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, has created the first community college-based, paramedic-level EMS agency in Arizona. This new agency, which will be known as EAC Monster Rescue, allows its EMS student volunteers and faculty to respond to medical and trauma emergencies on campus prior to the arrival of local ambulance services. The creation of this agency also allows EAC’s EMS Program to become a registered member of the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation (NCEMSF).

 “Be it an accident or a medical emergency, our volunteers will leave their classes and other activities to render emergency aid. This not only benefits our campus, but it provides real-world experience that helps our students become workforce ready for a variety of career fields,” said John Clegg, EAC EMS associate professor and program director.

When 911 is called, EAC’s Monster Rescue members will be notified by Graham County Dispatch via cell phone pages and will be in service 24-hours-a-day when the college is in session. As the only paramedic-level, community college-based, EMS service in the state, EAC’s volunteers will carry paramedic level medications such as Narcan and epinephrine, in addition to a full complement of EMS gear. EAC’s EMS program will not bill for services, and emergency medical services transport will continue to be provided by local ambulance services.

“This is such an exciting new program that John and his colleagues in our EMS program have brought to campus,” said EAC vice president of academic and student affairs, Dr. Susan Wood. “Not only does it benefit the entire community, it goes beyond textbooks and lectures, giving our students the skills they need for their future careers.”

NCEMSF supports more than 250 colleges and universities in providing campus-based emergency medical services. These student-based organizations are comprised of highly trained students ready to respond to any emergency. Student volunteers respond within minutes and provide emergency care tailored specifically to their campus community. These groups range from quick-response services on foot or bike (or in EAC’s case, a new Polaris Ranger that has been dedicated for this purpose.)

“We are excited to join the ranks of other notable foundation members whose volunteers provide quality, campus-based, emergency medical services, including Arizona State University, Brigham Young University, and the University of Arizona,” said Clegg. “This new service enhances EAC’s reputation of being the safest college in Arizona and provides additional peace of mind to parents, students, and the greater college community.”

For more information about EAC’s EMS program, response agency, or how to enroll contact Clegg at john.clegg@eac.edu. Financial aid is available.

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