Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) hosted an Open House Wednesday, Aug. 24, at its new, state-of-the-art home for its Paramedicine program on the Gordon County Campus in Calhoun.

The Paramedicine program’s new classroom and lab is in Building 100. The program has been housed on the Floyd County Campus since its establishment in 1986.

“We decided to move the program to Gordon County to better serve our northern campuses and to be a central location to serve our community,” said Sonya Alday, EMS instructor and clinical coordinator at GNTC, adding that the location off Interstate 75 is easily accessible.

“We have received federal funding that allowed us to supply our EMS programs with brand-new equipment, including an ambulance that will be transportable to all of our campuses,” Alday explained. “We also have two new smart manikins that simulate any medical condition, as well as airway challenges for the students.”

GNTC’s Paramedicine program trains entry-level paramedics to provide advanced emergency medical care and transportation for critical and emergent patients who access the emergency medical system. Paramedics perform interventions with the basic and advanced equipment typically found on an ambulance.

GNTC offers Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Professions, Advanced Emergency Technician (AEMT) and Paramedicine programs. Students may earn certificates, diplomas or an associate degree. 

“These options are available to meet the needs of our community at any stage of their profession, and we are ready to enroll anyone who is interested in the pre-hospital workforce,” she said. The programs are shift-friendly to accommodate work schedules, and night classes are also offered.  

The program provides opportunities to upgrade present knowledge and skills from the different EMT levels to a paramedic level. Successful completion of the program allows graduates to apply to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) Paramedic certification examination and apply for Georgia licensure with the State Office of Emergency Medical Service and Trauma (SOEMST) as a paramedic.

GNTC’s diploma and associate degree tracks are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Educations programs upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP).

“We are prepared to provide top notch education to our students, who will then be able to take their skills out to the workforce,” said Alday, who has been a paramedic for 15 years, has worked in the emergency room for 20 years and worked in EMS Education for 11 years. She is a GNTC graduate.

Nina Piatt, program director, earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Western Governors University, worked as a paramedic for 13 years and has served in an education role for seven years, Alday said.

“Nina is very passionate about her students and makes sure they have all the necessary tools to be successful,” Alday said. “She is an excellent paramedic instructor who has assembled a knowledgeable staff to ensure the program is outstanding. We are still able to consult with past program directors, some of them are adjunct instructors in our programs now.”

The Paramedicine degree program has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) since March 2012. Continued accreditation was received in September 2016.

To enroll in the program, students must be at least age 18 and must have been accepted to the college. Applicants can apply online at www.GNTC.edu or at any of GNTC’s six campus locations, she said. Once students have completed the application process, they will be assigned an advisor for the next steps on how to enter the program.

Founded in 1962, Georgia Northwestern Technical College is celebrating 60 years of providing quality workforce education to the citizens of northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma or a certificate in aviation, business, health, industrial or public service career paths. This past year, 11,134 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. GNTC has an annual credit enrollment of 8,528 students and an additional enrollment of 2,606 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training and Georgia Quick Start. For more information about GNTC, visit us at www.GNTC.edu. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.