It is the 44th annual National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week which was authorized by President Gerald Ford in 1974, to celebrate the important work of EMS practitioners. In honor of EMS Week, we are highlighting a high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) program of study, which provides learners with rigorous coursework and the work-based learning experiences they need to be a successful healthcare professional. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics is projected to increase 15 percent from 2016 to 2026.
In 2017, the Jones County Junior College Emergency Medical Technology Education (JCJC EMTE) program of study in Ellisville, Mississippi received the annual Excellence in Action award in the Health Science Career Cluster®. The program trains EMTs and paramedics to become knowledgeable health care providers in a rural community that is in great need of qualified and skilled employees.
In addition to a robust curriculum, all EMTE students must complete clinical internships in the field earning 500-plus hours of training. One of their many impressive student success outcomes is a 90 percent first-time pass rate on the National Registry of EMTs, compared to a national average of 60 percent. In 2016, JCJC learners clocked 1,400 hours of classroom instruction, had opportunities to earn over seven industry-recognized credentials and had a 100 percent job placement rate.
Since winning the award in 2017, the program has continued to increase enrollment. The current 2017-2018 paramedic cohort is one of the largest that they’ve ever seated. In addition to growing their program, JCJC has been asked to take an active role in EMS within the state of Mississippi. Their Program Director serves as the President of the EMS Educators group within the state and JCJC was instrumental in rewriting the circuirculm for future paramedic classes. Furthermore, they have assisted several other smaller paramedic programs grow and helped establish another paramedic program in an underrepresented part of the state.
Eric Williams, MS, NR-P, the Assistant Director of the CTE program of study believes that the visibility and understanding of this career is evolving.
“We were once seen as “Ambulance Drivers”. The public now realizes that there is so much more to the job. The changing tide of information on what it is that EMTs and Paramedics do in the back of the ambulance has led to increased pay, additional responsibilities and greater interest in the profession.“
To keep this positive momentum going, JCJC is making tremendous efforts in ensuring youth are aware of this career path through partnerships with several area preschools, middle schools and high schools to allow younger learners to explore the program. This early career exploration is helping learners find out what they love, while also increasing enrollment into the EMT program of study.
“Our hope is to continue being a leading force in EMS education and research for the future.”
Read more about this Excellence in Action recipient here.
Nicole Howard, Communications Associate