Columbus, OH,
19:49 PM

Medical Minute: Celebrating 40 Years of Paramedic Education

The OhioHealth Grant Medical Center EMS Education Program is celebrating four decades of shaping the future of paramedic care. 

Founded in December 1983 as a collaborative effort between OhioHealth Grant Medical Center's LifeFlight Program and the Franklin County Firefighter's Association, the paramedic school saw its first graduating class in 1984. Over 2,000 students have graduated since its inception, with the most recent class, 121, enrolling 42 students in August 2023. 

“It's successful because of our instructors and our partnership with the area fire departments,” said Holly Herron, system director of OhioHealth Emergency Medical Services. “These students go to school at Grant for 15 months, which when this program started, it was at about nine months. That tells you the demand and expectation that our hospital providers now have, that it just keeps growing and growing.”

The program's emphasis on preceptorship and mentoring provides students with clinical hands-on and observational experience. Paramedic students spend over 250 hours at Grant Medical Center, working with staff, physicians, and patients in various units, including the emergency department, cardiac catheterization lab, CAT scan, labor & delivery, nursery, ICU and CCU. 

“Then they spend almost 200 more hours in the field doing field ride time,” said Herron, “Which all the fire departments collaborate with us and our students ride with them.”

Grant Medical Center works alongside the high-volume fire departments in the city, giving students an extensive and valuable learning experience in the field.

The program sets high expectations, having a Paramedic National Registry pass rate of 95 percent and a strong reputation. 

Over 50 percent of our students are being sent and sponsored by fire departments,” said Herron. “By the time our students graduate. Almost 100 percent of them are already hired. The reputation precedes itself. I'm very proud of that.”

The impact of the program extends beyond the classroom, as alumni, shaped by the program, now play vital roles in providing care throughout the state. 

To learn more about OhioHealth Emergency Medical Services, click here.