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Ventura County Roundup / West | VENTURA

College to Begin Paramedic Program

October 09, 1998|NANCY FORREST

Ventura College will launch an emergency medical services/paramedic studies program next fall, said Steve Tobias, dean of health services.

The program, which was approved by the Ventura County Community College District Board of Trustees in September, now faces a lengthy approval process by the state community college chancellor before being training can begin. Approval is expected by next March.

Already known for its nursing program, Ventura College could start the emergency medical technician/paramedic courses next August.

"Our emergency medical technician program currently prepares 140 students for work on firefighter crews, local ambulance companies and rescue squads. But the new paramedic program would provide advanced life-support training beyond the EMT level," Tobias said. "It's a much higher level of training."

The program has received nearly $30,000 in grant funds from the South-Central Regional Health Resource Advisory Committee, based at Santa Barbara City College, to purchase equipment and supplies. Approval has also been granted for a full-time instructor to oversee the paramedic program.

Tobias said the program would offer tracks leading to an associate of science degree or a certificate of achievement. Graduates could earn salaries of $28,000 to $41,000 per year.

Tobias said the graying of America has led to the need for more paramedics.

"In 1990, the demand for trained paramedics was predicted to increase by 29% during the 15-year period through 2005. We are seeing that happen as the population ages and the need for emergency personnel increases," Tobias said.

Tobias said the college would admit 35 students to its program each year.

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