In response to New Hampshire’s need for more paramedics, Lakes Region Community College (LRCC) is adding a new Paramedic certificate. The program was developed through the efforts of a Paramedic Taskforce assembled by LRCC, comprised of local and state emergency service leaders, which revealed the need for more paramedics throughout the state and in rural areas where they can serve in broader capacities. LRCC is poised to dovetail the new certificate with the existing and highly regarded Fire Science program to augment the emergency response workforce with new firefighter paramedics.
“Thank you to the Paramedic Taskforce for helping us understand their needs and for supporting the launch of the new certificate program,” said Larissa Baía, president of LRCC. “The Paramedic certificate is an exciting and relevant addition to our portfolio and enhances the college’s ability to continue educating future firefighters and EMS providers.”
The one-year Paramedic certificate program is designed for firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) or Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians (AEMT) looking to further their education. Students will be trained on a variety of patient care topics including therapeutic communications, the assessment and treatment of medical illnesses, traumatic injuries and multi-system trauma, public health, caring for special populations and critical care.
“By adding this new program, the college is meeting the demand in the state for additional emergency responders and the students can benefit from the college’s experience educating emergency responders for more than 40 years,” said Nick Mercuri, LRCC Fire Technologies professor and department chair. “We are excited to be an additional educational option in New Hampshire that enables our students to pursue or continue an education in the state where they live and work.”
The certificate will include more than 1,200 hours of theory and hands-on experience in a lab, in various medical environments and within ambulance services. Successful completion of the program will prepare students to be entry-level paramedics who are eligible to sit for the National Registry of EMT Paramedic certification exam. Currently, the program is in the process of seeking accreditation from the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAMESP).
Community colleges are called upon to be responsive to the needs of the communities they serve. The Paramedic certificate is a perfect example of how LRCC addresses workforce needs and provides career pathways for the state’s residents. LRCC’s new certificate program will expand the capacity of the Community College System to train students for emergency responder careers - in addition to LRCC’s programs, NHTI in Concord offers an associate degree program in paramedic emergency medicine.
“Paramedics are critical to delivering emergency care in an advancing healthcare system that continues to ask more from our emergency providers,” said Assistant Chief Randall Trull who is chair of the program’s advisory committee and a member of the Durham Fire Department. “As the healthcare system branches out into community paramedicine-based healthcare programs, the need for certified paramedics will increase. The addition of this program will help our communities respond to emergencies and with the workforce shortage we are all facing in emergency services.”
The EMT Paramedic certificate is stackable and can be added to the Fire Science certificate or the Fire Science associates degree program.
Lakes Region Community College is a fully accredited, comprehensive community college located in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire that serves over 1,200 students annually and offers housing options for students. LRCC offers more than 40 degree and certificate programs, including Automotive and Marine Technology, Fire Science, Nursing, Culinary Arts, Business, Accounting, and more. In addition, LRCC provides a strong background in Liberal Arts for students who choose to complete their first two years at a community college and then transfer to a four-year college or university for a baccalaureate degree. Business and industry training programs are also available. Lakes Region Community College is part of the Community College System of New Hampshire. For more information, visit lrcc.edu.