Peter Laitinen Awarded EMS Educator of the Year

Southbridge Fire Chief Paul Normandin and Peter Laitinen.
Southbridge Fire Chief Paul Normandin and Peter Laitinen. (Photo/Mount Wachusett Community College)

On Tuesday, May 4, 2021, Peter Laitinen, Mount Wachusett Community College director of paramedic programs, was presented the EMS Educator of the Year award during the organization’s Annual Meeting and EMS Awards Celebration.

“Peter Laitinen has been practicing compassionate care for his patients in our area for more than 30 years. His medical care and critical thinking under pressure is second to none,” Tina Dixson, executive director of the Central MA EMS Corporation stated. “He is able to pass his knowledge and compassion on to the EMS providers that he teaches and mentors. He has never stopped his own education through formal means and self-research on best practices in the EMS field, all of which he applies to his care and shares with his colleagues. All of this along with a great sense of humor make him an incredible provider and an amazing educator.”

Laitinen joined MWCC in 2017, bringing with him over 35 years of public safety experience, including 31 as a state and nationally registered paramedic and ten years of law enforcement experience. Laitinen earned his AS in Nursing at Greenfield Community College, his BS in Nursing at Curry College, and is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in homeland security/emergency services management. In addition, he holds an associate degree in emergency medical technology from Quinsigamond Community College.

At MWCC, Laitinen has been instrumental in the development and success of the Paramedic Technology Program, which has now graduated 17 students in its first two classes with 100% employment as paramedics within six months of graduation. The MWCC Paramedic Technology Certificate program is one of only nine such programs in the state, and the only program in North Central Massachusetts. The intensive 14-month program prepares students to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic Certification Exam.

“We could not be more proud of the dedication shown by Peter,” noted MWCC President James Vander Hooven during the Class of 2021 Paramedic Pinning ceremony. “I know that our students are well prepared to serve our communities as paramedics thanks to your efforts. Thank you so much for the work that you do with our students and everything you have done for MWCC.”

The Central Mass EMS Corporation (CMEMSC) was designated by the Department of Public Health as the Region II emergency medical services council in 1977. The CMEMSC goal is to foster improvement and assure the availability of competent EMS services throughout the region. CMEMSC provides assistance and support to the DPH in a cooperative effort to coordinate, maintain, and improve the EMS system throughout Central Massachusetts. As the Regional EMS Council and a 501c3 non-profit, CMEMSC has been acknowledging outstanding achievements in the EMS field, like that of Peter Laitinen, at its annual meeting and awards celebration since 1995.

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