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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

New Partnership in Springfield is Expected to Benefit Patients, Students


A new partnership in Springfield will train students for careers as emergency medical technicians or paramedics.

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program at Ozarks Technical Community College was dedicated Thursday.  The program, co-sponsored by CoxHealth and Mercy, not only trains students for careers as EMT’s and paramedics, it also provides continuing education for those who already work in the field.

Steve Edwards, president and CEO of CoxHealth, said the program “enables us to set high standards of care across the board.  Local EMS professionals now have access to the same high-quality training opportunities, regardless of which health system they work for.”

Jon Swope, president of Mercy Springfield Communities, said the partnership will not only benefit the students in the program, but also the patients who receive their care. 

“It won’t matter if a Mercy or CoxHealth ambulance rolls up to a scene,” he said. “Patients and their loved ones will know those first responders have received a consistent level of instruction thanks to this program at OTC.”

OTC’s EMS program, established in 1998, will have the capacity to train 80 EMTs and 44 paramedics by spring 2020.

The college also plans to debut EMS programs at its Hollister and Waynesville locations within the year.