MIDDLEBORO — Massasoit Community College paramedic training program Director Scott Meagher doesn’t mind when half the graduates invited to attend a pinning ceremony at the Lincoln Lynch School in downtown Middleboro don’t show up, as was the case at the June 28 “graduation” exercises.
Only five of the nine graduates of the latest class were there, Meagher reported. “The rest of them were already out there working as paramedics,” he was pleased to report after pinning Massasoit Paramedic badges on the new graduates who were able to be present that night.
All nine emergency services personnel graduated that night had completed an 18-month training program, including 400 hours of classroom time, drills in a mock-up ambulance, and observing and assisting in hospital emergency rooms and operating rooms, Meagher said.
Achieving the highest level of certification for “pre-hospital” emergency care providers, they had earned 29 college credits along the way. The certificate program costs about $9,000 from start to finish.
Like their predecessor graduates of one of the community college’s most successful programs, the newly-pinned paramedics from all over southeastern Massachusetts would benefit from the extraordinary 100 percent placement rates for new graduates.
“Yes, we have 100 percent placement for our graduates. Everybody’s working right now,” he said of the last group of graduates. “As soon as they get out, they get jobs,” he is pleased to report.
“The classes just keep getting bigger,” as the popular program continues to grow, added Meagher, who spent 26 years running his own medical training company before joining Massasoit’s new program at the Middleboro campus four years ago.
“There’s a lot of demand for paramedics right now,” he noted, continuing the industry growth that has been constant for decades. Over the past 30 years, Meagher estimates he has “trained about half the paramedics in the area,” so he knows the industry well.
“This was the eighth paramedic class we’ve enrolled,” he said of the recent graduates. The group included Jesse Lacerda of Acushnet, Krystyna Oles from Brockton, Matthew Olien of Assonet, Attleboro residents Joshua Sproul and Michael Cannata, Nicholas Bertram of Stoughton, Matthew Butler from Norton, Joseph Ezersky of Mansfield, and Chris Macone from Rockland.
“We have 15 more in the classroom, and six in the field now” getting practical experience, he indicated. “We have an enrollment of 24 new students expected for September.”
Hosted by Dr. Charles Wall, the college president, the June 28 ceremony in Middleboro was a low-key, casual affair. It also provided an interesting peek at the “Middleboro site” of the school, one of only 12 certified paramedic training programs in the state.
The Middleboro classrooms are stocked with realistic, sophisticated mannequins that the first responders practice on before taking their newly-learned skills into the field for weeks of practicum training with other paramedics and medical personnel, Meagher explained.
“We also actually have an ambulance inside the building... we use it as a simulation lab” for training sessions where the students are videotaped and critiqued on their performance, he said.
The rigorous training schedule has paid off for past graduates, now employed by countless area fire departments, ambulance service providers, and patient transport companies.
“We’re certainly providing the right education that they need to get out there, and be helping people,” said a proud Meagher. “The program just continues to grow, so we’ll just keep on plugging to meet that demand.”
For more information on the Middleboro-based paramedic training program, visit them online at http://www.massasoit.edu/academics/certificate-programs/paramedic/index.