What’s a community paramedic? Seminole State College offers certification to help outside of emergencies

College partners with FDOH to offer 8-month program

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Have you ever heard of a community paramedic? It’s a specially trained paramedic that can address gaps in a community’s health care system, outside of emergency situations.

Now, Seminole State College is partnering with the Florida Department of Health to offer licensed Florida paramedics this certification.

Molly Kostenbauder, vice president of the School of Business, Health, and Public Safety, said the community paramedicine model offers a proactive approach.

“The community paramedic is really designed to be that individual that is in the neighborhood, on a regular basis, you know meeting with the community members who need some extra help. Especially those, you know, a lot of communities will focus on maybe those individuals that maybe call 911 for all of their healthcare need.,” she said. “If they need medications, make sure they are keeping their medications within their home. If they need other services in the community. Maybe food is an issue, so Meals on Wheels, or a food bank. Getting them connected with other social services in the community. And the idea behind that is to prevent them from using 911 for services that really aren’t emergencies.”

The FDOH has provided funding for Seminole State to train 300 community paramedics. The course is entirely online and can be completed in about eight months. It’s open to all licensed Florida paramedics.

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" We’re actually putting cohorts together of 20 paramedics at a time, and the idea behind that is they can learn from each other because we know there are some programs that are well established, there are others that are brand new, and there are other areas that are starting from scratch,” she said.

Spot are still open in the program. To receive more information, click here to visit Seminole State College’s website.

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About the Author:

Julie Broughton's career in Central Florida has spanned more than 14 years, starting with News 6 as a meteorologist and now anchoring newscasts.