MCC paramedic program meets national goal

Mohave Community College now offers an accredited paramedic training program at its Lake Havasu City campus that's one of only three in Arizona.

Though there are 20 paramedic programs in the state, MCC and two other colleges are the only ones accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Educations Programs.

Throughout the country, companies providing emergency medical services require their paramedics carry state licenses. Arizona and 44 other states now require that applicants pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians exam.

Starting in January, the national registry will require applicants to graduate from a commission-accredited program, making MCC's recent accreditation that much more important.

The registry provides certification of entry-level competence into the emergency medical services profession. The new standards are designed to protect the public by guaranteeing that students graduate from quality programs.

The college earned accreditation in March after a nearly two-year process of expanding classes and training. Students must first complete 16 weeks of emergency medical technician coursework and work as an EMT for at least one year before enrolling in the program, which can be completed in fewer than 12 months.

"Students currently in the program and upcoming applicants can be assured their MCC education is recognized by the only national organization that governs emergency medical services testing and certification," said Shawn Lawless, the college's director of EMS. "MCC was committed to starting the tedious accreditation process early to ensure its graduates could meet testing demands by the national deadline."

The current class, consisting of nine students, will be the first to graduate this fall under the accredited program.

Applications for the program are now available for the 2013 program and due by Nov. 1. A total of 24 applicants will be accepted.

For more information, call Shawn Lawless, the program's director, at (928) 302-5325 or e-mail him at slawless@mohave.edu.