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TEEX will soon begin offering EMT-paramedic certification training, if EMS program coordinator Don Royder has his way. TEEX already offers training for three of the four levels of EMS certification: Emergency Care Attendant, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)-Basic and EMT-Intermediate.

“We hope to go through EMT-Paramedic level,” says Royder, who joined the Emergency Services Training Institute in January after seven years as Clinical Course Coordinator for the EMS Program at Blinn College. “Our proposal first has to be approved by the Texas Department of Health, but we expect it to go through.”

Royder said that national guidelines adopted last September by the Texas Department of Health for paramedic and intermediate EMT curricula have forced many of the classes into the community college setting with its entrance requirements. “A lot of older students don’t want to go back to the college setting for this training,” he added. “There is a large group that would like to take TEEX classes. I think there’s a place for both the college-based training and TEEX training.

“Most of the people who come to the Fire Field for training have full-time jobs, so we would like to offer a paramedic class that meets two nights a week,” Royder said.

Another proposed class, a “fast-track paramedic program for local firefighters,” could begin as early as September, he said. “The firefighters would go to class 8 to 5 every day and complete their training in 16 weeks. Paramedic training usually takes 1 to 2 years at most community colleges,” he added.

This “fast-track” training fulfills a need for the fire service, since a Texas firefighter is required to have a minimum of EMT certification, with many departments requiring paramedic certification, he said.

Another goal Royder has for the program is to partner with Blinn College to provide college credit for TEEX-EMT certification courses. But he doesn’t plan to stop there.

“There are a lot of things we could do to expand the open enrollment side of our EMS training,” Royder said.

He sees room for expanding EMS training for maritime and marine shipboard medical personnel and for industrial emergency response teams.

“Through the TEEX marine firefighting program, we’re trying to get two medical courses approved by the U.S. Coast Guard,” he said. “A minimum of EMT-paramedic training is vital for medical personnel working onboard a ship or oil rig.

“And we have started offering continuing education training for emergency response teams, who are required to get training yearly,” he added. “Also, an online program is under development, which will provide continuing education credit.”

Besides EMT training, the TEEX EMS program offers training in Emergency Vehicle Operation, Basic Trauma Life Support, Emergency Medical Dispatch and Hazardous Materials for EMS.

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Kathy Fraser

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