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Pierpont Community & Technical College Offers Online Paramedic Certification Program

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FAIRMONT - Emergency Medical Services play a key role in the health care delivery system by providing the appropriate support to the sick and injured in the pre-hospital setting.

We see them at car accidents, fires, medical emergencies, and more. They have even gone so far as to aid in disaster relief.  No matter what the circumstance, they are there when we need them.

While some professions may come and go, we are always going to need emergency personnel.   "There's really never one day that's like the other," Stephanie Vandetta told 12 news. "I think that's why I love this field so much. You never know what you're going into and you're there to help the community."

Pierpont Community and Technical College is offering a unique way for its students to get certified in the profession.  "We have a history of several paramedics and EMT intermediates that have become paramedics through just online and face to face labs and clinicals in their area," said Tracey Corbin, EMMS Program Coordinator.

For many, they can go to class in the comfort of their own computer chair.  "Our program said 'ok, how can we meet their needs, reduce the cost, and still be able to pipe it into our rural areas?' The online piece was the easiest piece for us," said Corbin.

Pierpont is the only college in the state to offer a paramedic online certification course.  The program began in March and prides itself on how flexible it is for students.

"If the industry needs it, we're going to build it. If the industry needed more, the rural areas needed more for less money," Corbin said. "Well, the easiest way to do that is to pipe it online because everyone now-a-days at least has access to dial up."

Corbin said the National Registry of EMT's decided in its recent initiative to remove a layer of medicine in EMT Intermediate.

"They completely abandoned the certification and turned it into something else," she said.

In West Virginia, there were 52 people that had the certification that were in very rural areas. When the certification went away, they lost their license to practice medicine. That's where Pierpont stepped in.

"We have a six module program that we enrolled 28 of those 52 folks into that program and they are learning online," Corbin said.  Pierpont collaborated with three community colleges for the program. This includes New River Community College, Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, and Mt. West College.

"Currently we have 28 blended students across the state on a computer reporting to Pierpont. Then their face-to-face labs are in community colleges that they are friendly with and then they are familiar in their town. They ride in those ambulances and go to those hospitals," Corbin said.

The online program is sponsored by North Central Regional EMS Incorporated.

If you are interested in the program, click on the link.

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