Contributed Photo/Courtesy EAC: EAC’s Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic Program has received a five-year accreditation.
By Kris McBride
THATCHER — Eastern Arizona College’s Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Paramedic Program has been awarded a five-year accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Based on a rigorous evaluation using standards of excellence in instruction, facilities, and equipment, this accreditation qualifies EAC students to become Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) and establishes the program as a leader in the emergency medical services (EMS) industry.
“This accreditation is the result of many dedicated EMS professionals in the community who worked in a positive and productive manner with EAC faculty and staff. We could not have done it without their support and help,” said Dr. Phil McBride, dean of instruction for EAC. “It truly underscores EAC’s commitment to working with the community and providing the highest quality education that prepares students for future success.”
Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, NREMT required applicants seeking certification through its National Registry to graduate from accredited paramedic programs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, EMT employment is expected to rise 15% from 2016 – 2026, a rate much higher than average. Because people’s lives depend on competent care, accreditation and a uniform process to assess the skills of this growing workforce are required. To date, there are 15 accredited paramedic programs in Arizona.
“This is a monumental achievement for our program,” said Carolyn McCormies, EAC division chair and director of nursing. “It provides an independent, objective appraisal, and shows how we meet and exceed industry standards. We are proud of our dedicated staff and instructors who made this happen.”
Prior to accreditation, EAC’s EMT and Paramedic Program operated with a letter of review by the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions. This signified that the program demonstrated sufficient compliance and was seeking accreditation.
“Our program philosophy has always been to do everything we can to ensure the next generation of EMS providers is both competent and caring. We take this seriously as we recognize that someday these professionals may be responsible for saving the lives of our own family and friends” said Randy Morris, EAC program coordinator and EMT/EMS associate professor. “Now that we have been awarded full accreditation, we can place our students in an even better position to succeed as they begin their careers as first responders, EMTs, and paramedics.”