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2002 News from Mecklenburg County

November 19, 2002

Medic Creates Paramedic Training Program

Charlotte, NC - In keeping with its commitment to provide the best prehospital care available, Mecklenburg EMS Agency is launching its own Paramedic-training program. The initiative, in partnership with the Center for Prehospital Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center, is designed to advance the qualifications of EMS professionals already serving our community.

"Our system is growing rapidly, and we're also facing a national shortage of qualified paramedic applicants," said Patricia Manzi, Medic's Director of Administrative Services. In addition to continued, aggressive national recruiting, Medic created the paramedic-training program for Emergency Medical Technicians already on staff at Medic. "These men and women have already met the high standards the Agency sets and we're thrilled to help facilitate their professional growth to the paramedic level," said Manzi.

A class of up to 20 qualified students will be paid to attend the program, which will tentatively begin in April. The program will be administered through the Center for Prehospital Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center and classes will be taught at Medic.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that employment opportunities in EMS will grow faster than average (increase 21 to 35 percent) for all occupations through 2010. Population growth, urbanization, and requests for emergency medical services will increase demand for full-time paid EMTs and paramedics. In addition, an aging baby boomer population will spur further demand for services. The elderly use ambulances and emergency services at a far greater rate than younger people.

Mecklenburg Emergency Medical Services Agency provides emergency and non-emergency medical services to the citizens of Mecklenburg County. The Agency answers approximately 70,000 calls for medical help each year and conducts frequent community education programs on health, safety, injury prevention and emergency related issues.

Medic is part of a unique partnership between Mecklenburg County, Carolinas Healthcare System and Presbyterian Healthcare/Novant Health. Since fiscal year 1997, Medic has reduced ambulance response times, implemented higher clinical standards and reduced taxpayer subsidy per call by half.


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