Opposing Degree Requirements for Paramedic Certification

Earning a college degree is a fantastic way for someone to expand their knowledge, sharpen their professional skills, and enhance their critical thinking abilities. However, the IAFC continues to oppose the concept of requiring paramedics to obtain a college degree before becoming a licensed paramedic. There is no evidence that requiring college degrees will help advance the EMS industry, yet this same requirement could create significant obstacles to caring for our patients. The EMS Section is excited to release a toolkit of resources to help fire and EMS leaders better understand this issue and push back against this concept.

Proponents of a degree requirement for paramedics are currently taking their argument to local, state, and federal governments as well as nongovernment organizations. It is vitally important for fire and EMS leaders to be able to confront these arguments head-on. Failing to face this challenge could force more 130 paramedic training programs to close and make it exceptionally difficult to recruit and train paramedics. The entire EMS industry is grappling with the current shortage of paramedics – how much worse will it be when we close 21% of all training programs across the country?

The EMS Section is excited to release a toolkit with resources to help fire and EMS leaders understand this important issue and defend current paramedic training programs. This toolkit can be exceptionally useful when fire and EMS leaders are inevitably forced to confront this troubling proposal. Regardless of whether your fire department operates an ambulance transport service or just maintains a first response component, make time in your day to review these resources.

Mike McEvoy, PhD, NRP, RN, CCRN, is the EMS chief for Saratoga County, N.Y., and chair of the EMS Section.

Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stefan Alvarez

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