Partnership Brings New Emergency Medical Science Degree Program to Meet Workforce Demand

CarolinaFireJournal -

01/10/2015 -

In August, CPCC launched its new Emergency Medical Science degree program. This new program is a result of a partnership between CPCC and Carolinas HealthCare Systems (CHS) and will meet a growing need in Mecklenburg County for paramedics. For more than a decade, CPCC has provided entry-level EMT programs, while CHS and its Center for Pre-Hospital Medicine have offered paramedic programs through the Carolinas College of Health Sciences and Mecklenburg County Emergency Medical Services (MEDIC). The new EMS program at CPCC will produce well-trained graduates needed by MEDIC to meet current and future workforce demands. Nationally according to the Department of Labor, the employment demand for degree-level paramedics is expected to grow by 33 percent over the next five to eight years.

CPCC’s state-of-the-art facilities include a full-size replica of the inside of an ambulance.

The program will be based at CPCC’s Merancas Campus, in Huntersville, North Carolina, with classes offered at three campuses, Merancas, Central, near uptown Charlotte, and Levine in Matthews, N.C. To meet student and employer needs, paramedic-level classes will meet two evenings per week, alternating from week to week — Monday and Tuesday one week, and Wednesday and Thursday the next. The program also will include Saturday option for some clinical and internship requirements. Course and clinical rotation instructors will come from CPCC, CHS and MEDIC.

The program will prepare students for entry- to intermediate-level employment in local, state and national EMS organizations. Earning an associate degree also can provide career advancement for persons already working in the field. In addition, the program will prepare students to take state and national certification exams./p>

“This EMS degree program and partnership with Carolinas HealthCare System will be unique, offering students the best classroom, lab, clinical and field internship experiences available,” explained Tamara Williams, dean of the Merancas Campus and CPCC’s Public Safety and Transport Technologies programs. “CPCC, CHS and MEDIC are focused on producing the best-trained professionals to meet the medical needs of Mecklenburg County.”

Students will train on the latest industry technologies, housed within CPCC’s state-of-the-art facilities. This dynamic learning environment will equip them with the knowledge and skills they needs to excel in today’s paramedic field. Class time will be spent building students’ critical thinking abilities — a skill that is required of the profession; paramedics must perform at an exceptionally high level as they are required to make life and death decisions each day in a matter of seconds, rather than minutes.>

AAs a result, the program’s training and curriculum is rigorous. However, it is this intensity that prepares students for entry-level emergency medical services positions, and gives future employers the confidence of knowing they have hired a high quality performer who will not only get the job done, but also get it done right.

Students receive hands-on learning using the triage room lab facilities.

Curriculum Division

The Curriculum Division offers college-level curriculum classes leading to Associate in Applied Science degrees in Criminal Justice Technology and Fire Protection Technology for students interested in going on to criminal justice and fire protection technology careers or to a four-year college or university to continue their studies. Students can also earn Curriculum certificates. In addition, the college offers Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET), which provides the training necessary for individuals to become law enforcement officers in North Carolina. The Public Safety Division office is located in the Claudia Watkins Belk Center for Justice on Central Piedmont Community College’s Merancas Campus in Huntersville, North Carolina. Criminal Justice courses are taught at the Merancas, Cato, Central, Harris and Levine Campuses, while the Fire Protection Technology Program is located on the College’s Harris Campus. Most classes are also available online.

Corporate and Continuing Education

CPCC’s Corporate and Continuing Education (CCE) Division provides advanced and in-service training for all of the public safety professions. Offerings include the college’s American Academy of Applied Forensics (AAAF), which provides state-of-the-art training in forensics for law enforcement, initial and continuing education opportunities for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and a new Paramedic Training program which began in spring 2012. State-mandated and in-service training for law enforcement, as well as advanced training topics are offered. Thanks to a partnership with Charlotte Fire Department, CPCC offers in-service training for fire and rescue municipal and volunteer agencies.

Fire Protection Technology Program

The Fire Protection Technology curriculum is designed to provide individuals with technical and professional knowledge to make decisions regarding fire protection for both public and private sectors. It also provides a sound foundation for continuous higher learning in fire protection, administration and management./p>

Course work includes classroom and laboratory exercises to introduce students to various aspects of fire protection. Students will learn technical and administrative skills such as hydraulics, hazardous materials, arson investigation, fire protection safety, fire suppression management, law and code. Program requirements include General Education Courses, Core Courses (15 credit hours) and Major Electives (38 hours).

Graduates of the Fire Protection Technology program might seek professions with a local fire department, a governmental agency, industrial firms, insurance and educational organizations, Office of State Fire Marshall and Department of Homeland Security.

Central Piedmont Community College’s Public Safety Division is dedicated to serving the education and training needs of incumbent and aspiring public safety professionals. CPCC offers college-level curriculum classes leading to associate degrees in Fire Protection Technology, Criminal Justice Technology and the new, two-year associate degree program in Emergency Medical Science (EMS) that began this August. CPCC also offers Corporate and Continuing Education (CCE) programs that provide advanced and in-service training for all public safety professionals.

For more information about CPCC’s Fire Protection Technology and EMS associate degree programs, visit
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