Paramedic program launched at Blue Ridge Community College

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WEYERS CAVE, Va. (WHSV) — A new paramedic program began on Wednesday at Blue Ridge Community College. It follows the addition of Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) courses last fall.

The paramedic program is a four-semester commitment and teaches those who are already EMTs more invasive life-saving techniques and skills for administering medications.

Scott Vanderkooi, the director of the school's overall EMS program, said most of those enrolled are from Augusta and Rockingham counties but others traveled longer distances for the training.

The launch of the program comes amid a changing landscape for medical response.

"There are plenty of areas that have volunteers," Vanderkooi said, "but because the paid services are starting to flourish more and take over more areas, the demand for EMTs and paramedics is going to continue to rise."

Those who pass and complete the courses required will get a certificate from BRCC and go on to the national registry exam.