South Enjoys Successful Partnership with Mobile Fire Rescue

Posted on February 23, 2024
Lance Crawford

Mobile Fire Rescue cadets receive in-class instruction at the University of South Alabama. data-lightbox='featured'
Mobile Fire Rescue cadets participate in emergency medical technician classroom activities at the University of South Alabama. For the past two years, all City of Mobile fire cadets have received training through South’s program.

All Mobile Fire-Rescue cadets in the last two years have received their Emergency Medical Technician from the University of South Alabama. The Department of Emergency Medical Services boasts pass rates on national certification tests above the 90th percentile. 

“Their first-time pass rate for the certification exam is well above the Alabama state average of 56 percent,” said Mack Weaver, district chief for Mobile Fire-Rescue Department. “Of the 85 recruits we have sent to South's EMT program, we have only lost 6 for academic reasons, less than one-percent attrition. That kind of success is difficult to compete with.”

South’s Emergency Medical Services department teaches three certificate programs: emergency medical technician, advanced emergency medical technician and paramedic. It also offers a bachelor’s degree in emergency medical services and is one of just three universities nationally to offer all these programs. 

“The results speak for themselves in not only the first-time pass rates on the national exam, but also in producing EMT’s who are ready to answer the call for any emergency upon graduation,” said Charles Erwin, chair of South’s emergency medical services department. “Our programs prepare our students to be clinical professionals in the field, not just technicians.”

Erwin credits Dr. Susan Gordon-Hickey, dean of the Patt Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions, and Dr. Andi Kent, South’s executive vice president and provost, for supporting a non-credit program for the good of the community. The University has also benefited as fire cadets, with support of the City of Mobile’s Tuition Assistance Program, often enroll in advanced EMT and paramedic certification programs.

“What we are witnessing is that most of the students that we initially trained are returning to South for the highest possible education in pre-hospital emergency care,” Erwin said.

South’s current paramedic class has 11 students enrolled, nine of them are former EMT recruits that went through the program.  

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