Paramedic accreditation

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TCCC gains national paramedic training accreditation

TCCC EMS program

Steve Kolar, site accreditor, Henry Angelopulos, director of public safety training at Tri-County Community College, and Frank Mineo, site accreditor, tour the EMS training space at Tri-County Community College on
Jan. 17 at the main campus in Peachtree

The Tri-County Community College (TCCC) Emergency Medical Services Paramedic training program has earned national accreditation status from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

According to college officials, obtaining the CAAHEP recognition now allows successful completers of the TCCC paramedic program a direct pathway towards certification on the paramedic national database. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians® (NREMT) Certification assures the public, licensing officials, and employers that the EMS professional is competent.

“A few years ago, the National Registry office issued a mandate that paramedic candidates must complete an approved and accredited EMS education program,” said Bo Gray, vice president for college and community initiatives at Tri-County Community College. “We had already designed our local program to match National Registry standards which meant that all successful candidates were required to demonstrate competency on both cognitive and psychomotor examinations.

“It was then we began the long and arduous task of obtaining CAAHEP accreditation,” said Gray. “Now, we are thrilled to have the seal of approval from CAAHEP’s Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Profession (CoAEMSP) on our paramedic program.”

According to Gray, the accreditation process involved college staff, faculty, current students, alumni and crucial support from college administrators.

“Acquiring this prestigious accomplishment is not only a tribute to the ongoing quality of our program and its faculty, but also reflective of the commitment from our college president, Dr. Donna Tipton-Rogers, and the Board of Trustees,” Gray said.

Gray said a significant aspect of the accreditation process also involved intense scrutiny of the college’s facilities, equipment, training methods and clinical sites.

“The visiting committee interviewed community members, government officials and local emergency medical service professionals from the three counties that we serve,” Gray said. “So the accreditation team was able to thoroughly assess our entire program.”

The new accreditation not only benefits Tri-County Community College students, but also the communities it serves, said Henry Angelopulos, director of public safety training at the college.

“I cannot stress enough the importance in obtaining this national accreditation for our college and our communities,” Angelopulos said. “Tri-County Community College is one of only 16 community colleges in North Carolina currently accredited by CAAHEP (www.caahep.org) in paramedic training,”

Angelopulos said by gaining the accreditation, students in the EMS program now have more options within their career field after they complete their credential or degree.

“This recognition only serves to strengthen our entire EMS program and make it more competitive since only graduates of CAAHEP-accredited paramedic programs like ours, can sit for an EMT-Paramedic National Registry examination,” Angelopulos said. “Also, we are able to welcome students from north Georgia and east Tennessee because our training program meets the highest standards in the profession nationwide. Now, a nationally registered paramedic from TCCC can find work in just about any state in the union.”

For more information regarding Tri-County Community College’s EMS program, please call 837-6810 or visit www.tricountycc.edu.