ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WTVY) - A new program at Enterprise State Community College will provide local students and professionals with critical training that could mean the difference between life and death.
The college is offering a new associate's degree in paramedics.
Students will get the highest level of education in emergency medical technician training.
For years, instructors at Enterprise State Community College have heard locals asking for the chance to further their emergency medical services certifications.
“Because of the distance they would have to drive it wouldn't allow them to maintain their current jobs and careers and receive that additional training,” says Dr. Tyler Simmons of the science and health science division at ESCC.
So, starting next spring, in addition to EMT and advanced EMT certifications, ESCC students will be able to obtain certificates in paramedics.
“The more quality medics we can put out on the streets the better off we are as a community,” says Christopher Davis the EMS program director.
It's a growing career field.
“There's a need for ems personnel all over the country and that's only going to grow as the population grows and the higher levels of ems are even further in demand,” says Davis.
The plan is to train people in the area for those needs.
“The hope is instead of bringing in people that already have training into our area we have people that are local… people that are going to be here and stay here as part of the community taking care of these jobs,” says Davis.
Students will get hands-on experience throughout the 3-semester program thanks to partnerships with providers like Medical Center Enterprise and Enterprise Rescue.
In the first half of the program, students work in different areas of the hospital.
“Second and third semester you almost exclusively on an ambulance and that's on the same ambulance crew that's going out and taking 911 calls so you can see anything from a stubbed toe to cardiac arrest,” says Davis.
The first class is limited to 12 students, but there are plans to expand the program over time.
“I think our first class is probably already close to filling up just as far as members of the community who are excited about and ready to begin,” says Simmons.
Program instructors include full time paramedics at Enterprise Rescue and Fire.
Students can choose to take a certificate or associate's degree route.