The first Emergency Medical Service (EMS) program in the Southeast Missouri area was an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program taught in the spring of 1977. Soon after the completion of this EMT program in the fall of 1977 the first Paramedic program was initiated. This Paramedic program was taught in cooperation with the University of Missouri and Saint Francis Medical Center, with instructors brought into the area to teach the program.
This Paramedic class (photo to the left) graduated in the spring of 1978 with twelve students completing the program. The students pictured from that class are; back row left to right, Richard Fehr, H Vincent Ashley III, Marcie "Bedell" Abernathy, Randy Everett, and Mike Downing. On the front row left to right are; Don Rousc, John Russell, Mike Rousc, Don Riley, Dave Rousc and Charlie Johnson, not pictured is Karen Mazzola.
The EMS programs continued to be taught in Cape Girardeau at different locations until the initial Paramedic program sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center (Cape Girardeau Area Vocational Technical School at the time) began in the fall of 1984. This was the first program taught at the Career and Technology Center. Due to the favorable response to the initial EMS programs the one-year Paramedic program continued at the Cape Girardeau Area Vocational Technical School. The program continued in August 1985 and a permanent program was added to the school curriculum in 1987. The incorporation of the Paramedic program and other programs involving pre-hospital care were also initiated as well as continuing education programs for pre-hospital providers. Programs at that time included: The First Responder and Emergency Medical Technician programs.
In 1987, the EMS programs at Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center were fully accredited by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Health and Senior Services Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. The program was again expanded in the fall of 2001 to incorporate the new National Standard Curriculum and in October 2010, the process of the Paramedic program becoming nationally accredited was initiated in an attempt to improve the program and better prepare students for a career in EMS. On January 19, 2012 the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center became the second nationally accredited Paramedic program in Missouri.
Throughout the years the Paramedic program has continued to maintain a pass rate higher than the national average on the National Registry Examination. This program has continued to improve the quality of education for pre-hospital health care providers in Missouri and Southern Illinois.
According to CAAHEP Policy 302 and CoAEMSP Policy I.13.b. and d., in
at least one of its comprehensive publications customarily used to
officially convey institutional information, the Program must state the following including the contact information for CAAHEP and CoAEMSP as shown below:
“The Cape Girardeau Paramedic EMS is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org)
upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of
Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions
“To contact CAAHEP:
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763
“To contact CoAEMSP:
8301 Lakeview Parkway, Suite 111-312
Rowlett TX 75088
FAX (214) 703-8992