New First Steps Paramedical Program Offered This Fall

NEW FIRST STEPS PARAMEDICAL PROGRAM UNDERWAY FOR HOPKINS COUNTY STUDENTS

Twelve senior students from Hopkins County Central High School and Madisonville North Hopkins High School are the first group to participate in the new First Steps Paramedical Program. The students are enrolled in a dual credit six-credit hour Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class that meets on the Health Sciences Campus of Madisonville Community College (MCC) this fall.

This unique program was created through the collaboration of Baptist Health Madisonville, Madisonville Community College, West Area Health Education Center and Hopkins County Schools, along with support from the Medical Center Ambulance Service in Madisonville. According to MCC’s Chief Academic Affairs Officer Dr. Deborah Cox, “This program is built on the successful First Steps Nursing program that has offered local high school students, who are selected on a competitive basis, a college medical pathway. The First Steps Paramedical students have an excellent instructor in Justin Cardwell.”

Martha Pleasant, Director of the West Area Health Education Center at Baptist Health Madisonville, adds, “This was a very exciting development that offered these students a great career and college pathway into the emergency medical services field. After students complete their courses, they are prepared to take their National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician Examination required to work as an EMT and to enter the MCC paramedical program with six college credits already completed.”

“This new program is a product of the ongoing partnership between the district and local institutions seeking to provide creative pathways to our students as they leave high school,” stated Linda Zellich, Hopkins County Schools Superintendent. “The partners in this program worked hard last year to put this program together, not the least of which was to reduce the costs for this class from over $1,000 to under $100 to make it affordable to all students.”

The current First Steps Paramedical students will complete the program in February. Current high school juniors who meet the Health Science prerequisite courses and are interested in this program or the First Steps Nursing program for next school year should contact their Health Science instructor or the high school guidance counselor for an application.