HANNIBAL -- A partnership between the Marion County Ambulance District and University of Missouri Health Care will help educate EMTs and paramedics as demand for those emergency responders grows.
Joshua Stilley, MD, medical director with MU Health Care, said paramedics and EMTs have an expected job growth rate of 24% over the next seven years -- almost three times the average growth for other careers in the U.S. MU Health and MCAD are working together to provide a new EMS education program to help equip students, employees with the Marion County District and other emergency personnel in the region with education consisting of MU Health's course content and specialized equipment like highly-sophisticated simulator mannequins that can talk during life-saving training.
Officials with MCAD and MU Health first began discussing the opportunity for advanced training for district employees around the beginning of the year, said MCAD Captain John Nemes.
"Through the course of that conversation, it led to the potential of merging our two entities together to form a satellite to this area and help keep the education local, but offer these new extended possibilities to our students and to our employees," he said.
Now that the partnership is official, both agencies are poised to offer the specialized training regularly. After the first EMT course starts Wednesday, Sept. 18 at the MCAD headquarters and training center, a course for paramedics will begin in January. Stilley and Nemes agreed the new education opportunities --including the high-tech equipment and clinical access to Columbia facilities like MU Health Care's Women's and Children's Hospital and the Level 1 Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction, and stroke trauma center -- would benefit students, emergency responders and community members throughout the area.
"We're very excited to be launching this program," Stilley said. MU Health Care and Marion County have been working hard together for a while to be prepared for this. It brings a nationally-accredited EMS education program from the University of Missouri to the local area, here in Northeast Missouri."
Nemes said the new education opportunities would make an impact for many people across the region.
"We've always pursued the chance to provide our own education for EMTs and paramedics, just because we know what the potential growth is going to be," he said. "And to be able to train people who are local in your community, and hopefully retain those people, is a huge benefit for EMS agencies. To be able to provide that in the surrounding area -- in the entirety of Northeast Missouri -- that will help other entities as well."
More information about the new EMS education partnership is available from MU Health at 573-884-5277 or MCAD at 573-221-5510.