The Florida Department of Health has approved FIU’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work and The Academy of International Disaster Preparedness to provide emergency medical technician (EMT) and paramedic educational programs.
“This is a skill-based program that will give members of our community the expertise they need to succeed and it’s an opportunity to train future EMTs and paramedics to provide life-saving services,” said Robert Meek, director of Disaster Medicine and the Aeromedical Evacuation Program. “For students who are interested in any medical field, having the opportunity to seamlessly take EMT and paramedic training courses as part of their elective choices is a great opportunity to expand their knowledge base and these are practical skills that anyone can benefit from, regardless of their field.”
The program will officially launch in the fall of 2019, with the first cohort able to apply for non-degree seeking certification. The courses can also be applied to a bachelor’s degree in emergency management. As of 2020, the program will open to all FIU degree-seeking students looking to gain skills that can make them more competitive in the job market.
“At the university level, we want to take a proactive approach to make sure we give back to the first responder community and are able to offer programs that improve personal and public safety,” said Meek. “The Academy already has a close relationship with area fire departments and we know they are often hire new EMTs and paramedics. We are excited to offer these new programs at FIU and provide new students with the opportunity to learn more about these professions.”
As part of the program, the Academy has partnered with the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences and Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine for access to the renowned faculty and leading facilities as well as Baptist Health South Florida and private ambulance companies. The program will provide hands-on experience such as opportunities to ride along with both private and public transport vehicles, as well as simulation exercises and on the field training. Faculty will include educators who have relevant, first-hand experience and are currently working in the field.
“The goal is to create a robust dynamic program that meets the needs of working adults who will then have the ability to impact the community and university immediately upon completion from our program. We will continue to provide training that can advance their careers while saving lives,” said Bridget Pelaez, assistant director in the department of emergency management at the Academy. “We are looking to foster an environment of leadership and education that will lead to new research and advancements in the field of emergency medical services.”
The program will offer student certification that will prepare them for National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians [NREMT] certification. Their program will include continued learning opportunities in an array of courses that are National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) certified, such as “all hazards disaster response” course and “pre-hospital trauma life support” course as well as offering access to high-fidelity simulation trainings that are part of the aeromedical evacuation training program.
“This new program is a shining example of the training and development coming out of the Academy that will directly impact our local workforce,” said Javier Marquez, executive director of the Academy. “It is just one component of the many strides being made by FIU to ensure that our community is prepared for the current and future job market.”