The Emergency Medical Services Program’s mission is to provide quality educational courses consistent with requirements set forth by a credentialing agency to practice prehospital medicine in conjunction with medical control. The EMS Program shall provide the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes consistent with the expectations of the public and the profession.
The first year for our area to have Emergency Medical Technician – Basic training was 1972. This training was initially conducted through the Holy Name of Jesus Hospital (now known as Riverview Regional Medical Center) and Anniston Memorial Hospital (now known as Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center). Over the next few years, through the successful efforts of these health care facilities, an educational sponsorship was sought. Gadsden State Junior College (now known as Gadsden State Community College) accepted the mission of Emergency Medical training.
In September of 1977, Gadsden State Junior College was designated as a pilot paramedic training site by the Alabama Department of Public Health. In April, 1979, the college received a permanent designation as one of the six paramedic training programs in the State of Alabama.
In 1980, the college expanded paramedic training to Anniston, approximately thirty miles from Gadsden. The college operates campuses and/or centers in Gadsden, Anniston, Fort McClellan, Centre and St. Clair Correctional Facility. The college’s paramedic program serves the northeast counties of Alabama. The two largest counties are Calhoun and Etowah with a population of over 114,000 and 103,000 respectively. The Emergency Medical Services Program has established a presence in both Anniston (Calhoun) and Gadsden (Etowah). Within these two counties are excellent health care facilities in which to serve the clinical component of our paramedic education. In Gadsden, Etowah County is served by Riverview Regional Medical Center (RRMC). In Anniston, the Calhoun County community is served by Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center (NEARMC), Jacksonville Hospital, and Stringfellow Memorial Hospital. Each of these facilities have a long-standing commitment to Emergency Medical Services education. These four facilities are all staffed with 24-hour emergency
department physician coverage functioning in accordance with the medical control and accountability plan (MCAP) of East Alabama Emergency Medical Services, under the auspices of the Alabama Department of Public Health Offices of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma (ADPH-OEMS&T).
The program has grown tremendously since the early 1970’s. The previous program director, Mr. John E. Blue, II, served in this capacity from 1977 until 2004. His successor, Mr. Patrick Brown, served in this capacity from 2004 until 2017. The current program director Mr. John Hollingsworth is committed to EMS education and works directly with the students in the classroom, lab, and clinical settings. The program now has one full-time program director, two full-time faculty members, one clerk, and a pool of six part-time faculty.
The program’s medical director Dr. Neil Christen, has been a practicing emergency physician for over 33 years. He takes part in the education of new prehospital providers by ensuring their competency at all levels of EMS education. Dr. Christen is an integral part of the EMS community on a local, state, and international level.
Frequency of Program Offerings
The flexibility of the EMS curriculum allows students to enter the program at any of the three levels, depending on prior experiences and education. Because the classes usually meet in the evenings, students may continue working while taking courses. In addition, clinical education experiences are usually customized for each student’s schedule. EMS courses are offered at the East Broad Street Campus, McClellan Center, and the Cherokee Campus when student enrollment is sufficient to sustain the program.
The Emergency Medical Services Program is accredited by:
The Committee on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP)
1361 Park Street, Clearwater, FL 33756
Telephone: 727.210.2350; fax: 727.210.2354
The Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP)
4101 Oaks Blvd., #305-599, Arlington, TX 76016
The State of Alabama Department of Public Health; Office of Emergency Medical Services (ADPH-OEMS)
RSA Tower, 201 Monroe Street, Suite 750, Montgomery, AL 36104
For information about the EMS program, contact John Hollingsworth, BS, NRP, Director, at 256.549.8654, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.