EMS Professionals Bring Academy to Vegas

First graduates from American Medical Response and MedicWest Ambulance


 
 

A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT-P | | Thursday, July 8, 2010


After developing a successful curriculum in Texas for paramedics, Emergency Medical Service (EMS) professionals Dr. Bryan Bledsoe and Larry Johnson collaborated again to create the Critical Care Paramedic Academy, which offers advanced courses designed to train and educate paramedics in Southern Nevada.

Both men are well respected in Southern Nevada for their work with the major EMS entities. Dr. Bledsoe is the Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at University of the Nevada School of Medicine (UNSOM) and has authored many EMS text books including Paramedic Care: Principles & Practice, Paramedic Emergency Care and Prehospital Emergency Pharmacology. Larry Johnson is the clinical manager for American Medical Response (AMR), MedicWest Ambulance and National Center of Technical Instruction (NCTI) where he oversees the training and continued education of the companies’ medics.

The intense three-week, 116-hour program is the result of the two men developing the curriculum and gaining support from the NCTI, AMR, University Medical Center (UMC) and Valley Hospital and is a part of a growing educational trend for training current and future paramedics.

Physicians and medical residents from UMC and Valley Hospitals conduct classes including a cadaver procedure lab and several clinical rotations at UMC, Valley Hospital and Sunrise Hospital’s ICU and Cath Lab where students are familiarized with the critical care environment and unstable patients. Air medical classes like altitude physiology, flight safety and survival are part of the curriculum and qualify students for highly competitive positions in flight medicine.

“As the economy continues to take its toll on the higher education system, we saw a need for this kind of advanced program,” said Johnson. “Just as AMR continues to upgrade its technical equipment, we seek to upgrade our training and skills to provide the best care for the community.”

“It is a win-win situation. This arrangement allows a sharing of fixed resources, personnel and expertise, and does not cost the universities or hospitals to participate,” said Johnson. “In turn, UNSOM and UMC provide our medics with many added resources necessary to prepare them for critical care transport including physician lecturers and clinical access.”

This past April, AMR and MedicWest Ambulance employees graduated from NCTI’s Critical Care Paramedic Academy.

The academy was modeled after the Texas program and is very similar to the University of Maryland – Baltimore County program, but requires clinical training, more course hours and is the only nation-wide program affiliated with a major medical school.

The NCTI-Las Vegas curriculum is supported by the International Flight Paramedics Association, enabling graduates to take the “Board for Critical Care Transport Paramedic Certificate” examination.

American Medical Response, Inc. (www.amr.net), the nation’s largest provider of medical transportation, is locally operated in 35 states. More than 18,000 AMR paramedics, EMTs and other professionals transport nearly four million patients nationwide each year in emergency, critical and non-emergency situations. Operation a fleet of approximately 4,000 vehicles, AMR is headquartered in Greenwood Village, CO.
 




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A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT-P

JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT-P, has a background as an EMS director and EMS operations director. He specializes in MCI management.

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