Nine Cochise College students recently completed the paramedic training program and participated in a graduation ceremony this Thursday at the Cochise College Downtown Center.
Paramedicine is a specialty whose practitioners respond to emergencies before a patient reaches a hospital, rendering basic and advanced medical treatment before and during transport to a medical facility.
Each student spent more than 500 hours in the classroom and 500 hours in clinical time to earn their certificate, and after completion, most students landed a local position in Cochise County.
Michelle Knodle, one of the recent graduates of the Paramedicine Program, said she went back to school to better herself and help the community. After completing the 16 month program, the young paramedic recently accepted a position at Sierra Vista Fire Medical Services.
“I feel grateful that I’m done,” she said after the ceremony on Thursday. “It was a very challenging program but was extremely worth it.”
Bruno Talerico, the new program director of the Paramedicine Program, says he’s excited about what these recent grads will do for the community.
“It feels good to see these students complete this program and to see that they are all successful,” said Talerico. “…It means that more talented healthcare-practitioners are out there helping the community. So when you make that 911-call, you know that somebody there has been trained well and has been successful in our program.”
Cochise College’s paramedicine program saw a surge in enrollment in 2013 after becoming one of only a handful of nationally-accredited programs available in Arizona.
The application window for the Cochise College paramedicine program is open between January and May each year for classes that start in August.
Cochise College provides both a certificate and an associate of applied science degree in paramedicine certified by the Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (ADHS-BEMS).
For more information, you can visit cochise.edu/paramedicine/.