Tri-County Community College staff and alumni, alongside local emergency medical service directors recently met with accreditation site visitors from the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP) as part of a continuing effort to gain a national accreditation for the college’s emergency medical services (EMS) program.
“This accreditation is just another way of ensuring our students are fully equipped with the necessary skills to succeed as emergency service professionals,” said Henry Angelopulos, director of public safety training at Tri-County Community College. “The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians has changed their rules such that only students from a nationally accredited program are permitted to take the national registry exam.”
The on-site visit provided the evaluators with access to classrooms, various clinical sites in Cherokee and Clay counties, as well as round table discussions with the college’s EMS advisory committee, local government officials, EMS directors and graduates of the program.
Chris Berry, who graduated from the college’s EMS program in May 2015, said one of the benefits of attending classes at Tri-County Community College was the focus on the community.
“Sometimes you’re with a patient for 30 or 45 minutes, depending on how far from a hospital they live,” said Berry, who currently works as both a firefighter and a paramedic in Cherokee County. “The great thing about all that interaction is that it allows me to actually practice the medical training I received, instead of just being a transport service.”
According to Angelopulos, the college began the accreditation process in 2013.
“Our goal is to give our students access to the best training and accreditation as possible in order for them to find long-term employment,” Angelopulos said.
For more information about Tri-County Community College’s EMS program, call (828) 837-6810.
Bryan Gagnon and Haven Stiles, both public safety training instructors at Tri-County Community College, Steve Kolar, CoAEMSP site accreditor, Henry Angelopulos, director of public safety training, and Frank Mineo, CoAEMSP site accreditor, tour the EMS training space at Tri-County Community College on Jan. 17 at the main campus in Peachtree.
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