The emergency services programs at PUC prepare students to be highly skilled professionals in the emergency and fire responder fields. If you’re considering a career in the fire service, law enforcement, disaster relief, or emergency medical services, a degree in emergency services from PUC may be for you.
You might have some questions about the EMS programs at PUC. Well, we have answers!
Jeff Joiner has been working at PUC as an associate professor of nursing & emergency services for five years now and he was gracious enough to answer a few of our burning questions.
You’ve now taught at PUC for a few years. What’s been your favorite thing about teaching here?
I think my favorite thing as a teacher is seeing what my graduates are doing after graduation. Whether it’s working as an EMT in a big city or small rural area, getting that first paid position as a firefighter or heading back to school to advance their career as a paramedic or a graduate degree.
The EMS program at PUC has been around for over 10 years now. What exciting things are in store for the program in the future?
We’ve got lots of ideas on new courses to add to our program to keep it up to date with current standards of Emergency Management education (and make our graduates better prepared). We’ve recently added a new course in Search & Rescue and are taking advantage of the new Geographic Information Systems (GIS) course being offered (now a contextual requirement). We have proposed a new degree track that would allow students to complete their paramedic training within four years and receive a B.S. in Emergency Management. We have just had a new course approved for next year that will allow students to complete an internship in Emergency Management with various, county, state and federal agencies. We have new courses in Business Continuity, Technology in Emergency Management (think drones), and a Wilderness (Medicine) First Responder (WFR) courses in the planning stages. All of these courses will keep PUC Emergency Services graduates on the cutting edge.
What distinguishes PUC’s program from other EMS type programs, such as Union College’s international rescue and relief program?
While there are definitely similarities with Union’s IRR program, our program at PUC is more focused on domestic Emergency Management positions/careers. Both programs have an EMT component that leads to National Registry and identical courses in Technical Rope and Swiftwater Rescue. IRR has an international component that we do not. We have courses in Emergency Vehicle Operations (EVOC) that lead to a Department of Transportation (DOT) certificate (how to drive an ambulance); a course in how to manage an EMS agency. Approximately half of our students in Emergency Services are members of the Angwin Volunteer Fire Department and are able to gain valuable experience as a firefighter and EMT while they are still in school. This experience is invaluable when applying for positions upon graduation. This is a very unique opportunity for Emergency Management students.
Why should someone consider studying EMS?
We currently offer two degrees in Emergency Services – an A.S in Emergency Services which is ideal for the student who is looking for a position as an EMT, Emergency Dispatcher, or EMS manager/supervisor. The B.S. in Emergency Management opens up the world of Emergency Management which includes careers in law enforcement, firefighting, Emergency or Disaster Management, international relief, social services, public health, or medicine. Positions as Emergency Managers can be found at the city, county, state, or federal government level; with domestic or international relief agencies (Red Cross, ADRA, USAID, Samaritan’s Purse, Team Rubicon, World Vision, etc.). In the future, up to ninety percent of EM positions will be in private industry leading the business continuity programs. We now offer a pre-med option for students that wish to pursue a career in medicine. We have had several complete dual degrees in Emergency Services and Nursing.
Can anyone take an EMS class, or are they only for EMS majors?
There are several Emergency Services classes that are open to all students – EMT I & II, and Technical Rescue I & II. Some even meet general education requirements!
What are graduates of PUC’s EMS program doing?
Currently, we have graduates of our B.S. in Emergency Management working as Emergency Managers for the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, the San Bernardino County Health Department, and the city of Beacon Hill. One of our graduates is the Emergency Manager for Facebook. We have some working in Law Enforcement, some as firefighters for CalFire. One is currently pursuing her paramedic certification. Another graduate is completing her MPH in Disaster Management (and doing her last internship at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta. One of our graduates is now a Disaster Specialist with FEMA in Washington D.C. Another is a youth crisis worker in L.A.
Out of all your classes, which is your favorite to teach and why?
My favorite is probably the EMT I & II courses. These are the foundation courses in our 2 & 4-year degrees. I’m introducing these students to the field of emergency care. From these first two classes, they will use these skills for the rest of their professional career, be it as an EMT, Paramedic, Registered Nurse, or physician the ER. These students are probably the only students on campus who must be prepared to take a National Registry exam after only two-quarters of college. Many are freshmen. And yet, after only two quarters they are able to go out and get a paying job saving people’s lives. Some of our students do this each year before the end of their first year of college!
If you’re interested in learning more about our emergency services programs visit puc.edu/academics. If you have questions, our team of admissions counselors will be happy to answer them! Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get connected with a counselor and start learning about all the options available to you.