HCC and McLean County Area EMS partner to offer paramedic program

April 27, 2016

Heartland Community College and Mclean County Area Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are partnering to offer an accredited paramedic program at HCC starting in spring 2017.

Dean of Health and Human Services at HCC, Becky LaMont, says combining resources and forming a partnership benefits both agencies and gives the community a quality program. “Heartland can offer credit and financial aid while McLean County EMS can provide accredited curriculum, materials and instruction,” she said. 

Heartland and Mclean County Area EMS previously offered Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) basic courses. Dylan Ferguson, EMS system director for McLean County Area EMS says, “After the success of EMT basic, both parties feel comfortable taking the next step and bringing the highest level of EMS certification back to the college.”

The need for both EMTs and paramedics in the county is high. Firefighters must have paramedic certification in Bloomington-Normal and most other communities as well. Ferguson adds, “There is always a need for dedicated and qualified individuals in this particular field.”

HCC students in EMT classParamedics are advanced providers of emergency medical care and are able to administer medications, start intravenous lines and support patients with significant health complications such as heart attacks or trauma among many other things. According to Ferguson, paramedics offer the highest levels of pre-hospital services. “They basically bring the emergency room to your front door,” he said.

The three-semester paramedic program requires students to take a handful of prerequisite courses. Prospective students also need to obtain an EMT basic license or take EMT 101 as an additional prerequisite. More information on the program’s course sequence is available online.

Even though the program starts in spring 2017, students are encouraged to get a head start by enrolling in prerequisite courses during summer and fall 2016.

Those interested in enrolling in EMT Basic and/or the paramedic program can contact HCC’s Academic Advising at 309-268-8033. For questions about becoming an EMT or paramedic, contact McLean County Area EMS at 309-827-4348.

Written by: Becky Gropp