Graduation Ceremony for Paramedics

George Humphrey
Sept. 11, 2000

Improving emergency services for all Arizonans is the goal of 23 paramedics graduating from the Arizona Emergency Medicine Research Center paramedic training program on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 6 p.m., at University Medical Center DuVal Auditorium.

Honored guest speakers include James Dalen, M.D., MPH, vice president for health sciences and dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine, and Fred L. Shipman, fire chief, Tucson Fire Department. The graduates are affiliated with Tucson Fire Department, Rural/Metro Fire Department and Rural/Metro-Southwest Ambulance, and Pascua Yaqui Fire Department.

"Emergency medical services (EMS) have undergone a dramatic revolution during the past 30 years," says Harvey Meislin, M.D., director of the Arizona Emergency Medicine Research Center (AEMRC), a Center of Excellence at the UA College of Medicine. "Today, patients receive advanced emergency medical care prior to arrival at hospital emergency rooms. As EMS personnel provide more pre-hospital care, paramedics need an increased knowledge base to support these clinical decisions."

In response to this health care trend, AEMRC was founded in 1990 to bring together hospitals, researchers and others to coordinate efforts in improving and standardizing emergency care. One of only five such centers in the nation, the Center is recognized as a leader in emergency medicine training, education and research.

The AEMRC paramedic program provides more than 1,200 hours of classroom, clinical and vehicular training by UA College of Medicine faculty and residents as well as physicians, nurses and EMS personnel from throughout the City of Tucson, and culminates in state and national testing for paramedic certification.

"Our students consistently score higher than the national average on the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians examination," says Virgil Davis, M.D., co-medical director of the AEMRC paramedic program.

AEMRC has provided training to approximately 200 students with a 100 percent success rate in state and national certification of its graduates.
AEMRC completed a joint curriculum development project with Pima Community College (PCC) in 1996 for a new associate's degree in paramedicine. Since 1997, all students enrolled in the AEMRC paramedic training program also are eligible to enroll through PCC to receive credit for the degree.




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