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EAC graduates 12 paramedics

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EAC graduates 12 paramedics

By Lori Dugan

THATCHER, AZ—Eastern Arizona College’s Emergency Medical Services Program graduated 12 new paramedics in December of 2006. The class began in August of 2005, and all students accepted were required to be certified emergency medical technicians as a prerequisite.

The class began with 15 students and finished with 12. One of the students who graduated is Rick Kempton, son of the program’s coordinator, Mark Kempton.

“Students attend over 500 hours of classroom instruction and over 500 hours of clinical and vehicular time,” said Kempton. “They have to travel all over the state to get in that many hours, but thanks to the support of local healthcare providers such as Southwest Ambulance, Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, Greenlee County EMS, and Healthcare Innovations, the out-of-town time was kept to a minimum.”

Students are also required to take a national written and practical hands-on test before they are certified.

In addition to instruction from Kempton, many people statewide have come to the College to share their expertise in subjects such as cardiology, burn management, neurology, obstetrics, pediatrics, and geriatrics.

Paramedics are considered advanced life support providers in the pre-hospital setting. They are skilled in airway management, cardiac emergencies, treatment of shock and many other lifesaving skills. Paramedics work on ambulances, in hospitals, and on helicopters as well as those who volunteer their skills and work for search and rescue and local fire departments.

“I’m proud of this group and I am confident they will do an excellent job of taking care of their patients out in the field,” concluded Kempton.