Program Spotlight: Emergency Medical Services

EMS Week May 16–22, 2021

The Emergency Medical Services Paramedic program at Inver Hills Community College offers comprehensive training and preparation for service in the field of advanced pre-hospital emergency care. First responders, EMTs and paramedics provide care in a variety of emergency medical and traumatic situations.

Two degree tracks are offered by the EMS Paramedic program at Inver Hills. Both tracks lead to an Associate of Science (A.S.) in Emergency Medical Services (EMS). A third diploma option is offered for individuals who may already have a degree, or are seeking a career as a paramedic without completing additional liberal arts coursework.

The EMS Paramedic program also offers emergency medical technician (EMT) training in basic emergency medical care as well as training toward the Community Paramedic certificate.

First responders, EMTs and paramedics are primarily employed in the following locations:

  • Public safety agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Private and public ambulance services
  • Fire departments

With enough education or experience, EMTs and paramedics can become emergency service supervisors, managers, directors or executive directors.

As an EMS Paramedic program graduate, you are eligible to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician (NREMT) written and practical exams to become certified nationally and in the state of Minnesota.


Now accepting EMS Paramedic program applications

Inver Hills is accepting applications for the EMS Paramedic program for fall semester 2021. This application is for individuals who have successfully completed EMT training and wish to train as a paramedic.


Apply to Inver Hills now!


The Inver Hills Community College Paramedic program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP).

The goal of the Paramedic Education Program is to prepare competent entry-level Paramedics in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains with or without exit points at the Emergency Medical Technician, and/or Emergency Medical Responder levels.

National EMS Week¹

46th Annual Celebration
May 16–22, 2021

Presented by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) in partnership with the National Association of EMTs (NAEMT)

Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Day: May 19, 2021

EMS Week is a perfect time to honor those front-line heroes dedicated to providing emergency medicine that saves so many lives every day. We understand that the 2020 EMS Week was probably not a top priority due to the COVID-19 crisis. This year’s campaign will focus on what EMS is and what we do.

2021 EMS Week theme: “THIS IS EMS: Caring for Our Communities.”

This theme is particularly meaningful now to remind people that every day we are still there to respond, support, and care for the needs of our communities.

We send our best wishes for the constant safety and good health of all EMS personnel on the first lines who continue to take care of our communities.

Degree and diploma options

Emergency Medical Services • Associate of Science (A.S.) • Traditional Track (Paramedic): 70 credits

Clinical learning experiences are provided with ambulance services and hospitals throughout the metropolitan area. A Minnesota EMT certificate is required prior to taking the pre-core classes. Graduates are awarded an A.S. degree and are eligible to take the National Registry Paramedic written and practical exam.

Emergency Medical Services • Associate of Science (A.S.) • Accelerated Track (Paramedic): 70 credits

The accelerated track is a separate program offered to paramedics with a current paramedic certification. Students must apply both to the college and the program. Applications are accepted year-round. This track allows working paramedics to complete the A.S. degree at Inver Hills. Students must successfully complete the Inver credit residency requirement for graduation.

Paramedic Diploma: 40 credits

This program is designed to offer comprehensive education and occupational preparation in the field of advanced pre-hospital emergency care, intended for those who already have a degree or those who wish to obtain certification as a paramedic without taking additional liberal arts coursework.

Paramedics are employed by advanced life support ambulance services as well as in various out-of-hospital care settings to provide care in medical and traumatic emergencies. Graduates are eligible to take the National Registry Paramedic written and practical exam. A separate program application is required for admittance into the Paramedic Core program.


EMS Director Kevin Johnson retiring after 26 years at Inver Hills

Kevin Johnson began his career in emergency medical services (EMS) in North Dakota in 1984 as a volunteer EMT with the Finley Volunteer Ambulance Service. Kevin held a position as training officer and squad leader before enrolling in the United Hospital Paramedic Program in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Kevin Johnson

While serving as an EMT, Kevin took on the role of special deputy with the Steele County and Griggs County Sheriff’s Department. After completing paramedic training, he worked as a paramedic with the United Hospital Ambulance Service. While there, he received training in critical care transport, neonatal transport and as a flight medic.

Kevin began working with the Grand Forks Sheriff’s Department as member of the SWAT team, and obtained certification as a part-time peace officer for the department. While at United Hospital, he began teaching sections of the Paramedic Training program and later helped with the transition of the program to the Northwest Technical College.

Along with a colleague, Kevin started the Rural North Dakota EMS outreach program in cooperation with the UND School of Medicine to transmit EMS recertification courses across the state of North Dakota.

While at the Northwest Technical College, Kevin worked as program director in charge of EMS training on six campuses in the northwest Minnesota region. During this time, Kevin began working with the Midwest Learning Center and Noah N. Chelliah, MD, in the development of training materials and presentations in cardiology.

In 1995, Kevin made the move to teach in the Paramedic program at Inver Hills Community College. He also worked at Allina Health Transportation as a paramedic during his time at Inver Hills.

Kevin has been active in Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) since 1988, holding the positions of assistant state director and state coordinator. Throughout his career, Kevin has spoken at many EMS conferences at the state and national level. He was a contributor in writing The Paramedic textbook for McGraw Hill Publishing.

Kevin is retiring as after 26 years of service as the Inver Hills EMS Paramedic program’s director/instructor.

Certificate Options

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT): 9 credits

This certificate is designed to provide a basic education in emergency medical care, teach the competencies required for students to prepare for the national certification examination and to prepare students for certification and a career as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). This program will teach responsibility in emergency care of the critically sick or injured and develop skills in the use of and care of all basic emergency equipment.

The program curriculum includes topics such as patient assessment, trauma skills, care and recognition of heart disease, respiratory problems and other medical emergencies and includes field clinical experience. In order to enroll in any pre-core paramedic course, you will need to obtain EMT certification.

Community Paramedic Certificate: 12 credits

Provides additional training to certified, experienced paramedics in the areas of public health, health prevention, patient advocacy, triage, disease management, mental health and the management of ongoing illness or injury. The Community Paramedic works under the direction of an EMS Medical Director in cooperation with a primary care doctor. Community Paramedics work for EMS agencies, health care organizations or in other areas of public health.


Duke Cannon Endowed Scholarship

Minneapolis-based company supports students with new scholarship

Duke Cannon Supply Co., a premium men’s grooming products company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, made a donation to the Inver Hills Foundation to endow a new scholarship at Inver Hills Community College. The Duke Cannon Supply Co. Endowed Scholarship supports students in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Nursing programs at the college.

“Award criteria for the new scholarship include consideration for student life circumstances and career goals,” said Elsbeth Howe, foundation development director. “Eligible students must be enrolled for at least six credit hours.”

Elsbeth added that special consideration is given to:

  • Underrepresented students, including:
    • First-generation college students
    • Low-income students
    • Students with disabilities
  • Veterans
  • Dependents of veterans
  • Nontraditional students
  • Single parents

“We are so grateful for this new partnership with Duke Cannon Supply Co.,” said Kim Shaff, interim executive director of the Inver Hills and Dakota County Technical College foundations. “They saw a need in our community and chose to invest in Inver Hills students to help fill it. This scholarship will help students reduce their tuition and get one step closer to their goal. The Duke Cannon endowment recognizes the value of community college and the students we serve, and demonstrates their significant commitment to giving back.”

Learn more about the EMS Paramedic program at Inver Hills by contacting:

Gordon Kokx
Emergency Medical Services Faculty

Admissions Team
College Center

¹ SOURCE: ACEP EMS Week 2021

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