July 07, 2021

ACE4EMS Update from Alliance Education Coordinator, Evon Smith

First, please allow me to thank YOU, the rural EMS providers for partnering with ACE 4 EMS to bring EMS Education into “Real Rural” Louisiana.

If it weren’t for many of you, having the vision and support of bringing EMS Education to the rural communities for those interested in serving their communities as EMS practitioners, we would not have survived!

We are excited to report, we are wrapping up 6 EMR classes consisting of 57 future Louisiana Licensed EMRs by the end of this week and recently graduated 10 Louisiana Licensed EMRs in Assumption Parish, taught by one of our ACE4EMS alumni.

Lauri Cavalier registered for an EMT class three years ago and graduated as the top student in the class.  But what makes that even more special is, Laurie lives in Pierre Part and drove to Iowa, La. (152 miles) for her live classes. A year later she registered for an ACE4EMS EMS Educator class in Baton Rouge. For the last two years, she has been serving as adjunct faculty and teaching within her own community. In 2020, she once again registered for an ACE4EMS AEMT class held at the CLTCC Winnfield campus, a mere 209-mile drive.  It is because of dedicated EMS providers like yourselves, Laurie had the opportunity to not only become an EMT but advance her scope of practice to better serve her rural community as an AEMT. Laurie volunteers for the Pierre Part Fire Department, who hosted the recent EMR class, and reached out to other fire departments within the area.

As a result of that class, Alliance administrator, Ms. Yvette LeBlanc, is now a Louisiana Licensed EMR, fired up and ready to represent LAA. Please congratulate her next time you see her!

In addition to Laurie, Meagan Johnson and Bethany Holdeman have joined with ACE4EMS to continue our mission.  Our EMS hybrid/online courses are being led by Meagan Johnson, NRP, CCP, NAEMSE/BEMS educator. Meagan has successfully assisted and advanced EMS students with their career path and serves as an NREMT examiner. Meagan is a Louisiana and Mississippi, licensed Paramedic actively working in EMS. 

Bethany Holdeman (Betz), NREMT, NAEMSE/BEMS Educator, will be assisting Meagan as Assistant Instructor. Betz is a Louisiana and Mississippi licensed EMT actively working in EMS and serves as an NREMT examiner as well.

Sandy Merritt has recently retired as the EMS Education Director for the Paramedic program at the Nunez Community College and we are elated to have her join the ACE4EMS team. She will be assisting us with the 2021 AEMT class sponsored by the CLTCC Ferriday campus.  Sandy’s plans upon retirement was to move back to her roots and enjoy the simple life of the Delta. Only because of her passion for EMS education, we are lucky to have snagged her for a bit.

ACE4EMS is excited to have these talented EMS practitioners join our team and thank them for their dedication to Emergency Medical Services. Hopefully, soon we will have other EMS educators from your community join us.

As I said in the beginning, many of you have supported us from day one in many areas.  Some financial, some allowing your employees to assist us as examiners and probably one of the most invaluable resources, is allowing for a home base for our students to complete their clinical experience.

We are asking you to share the attached information sheetfor the 2021 AEMT class beginning July 24th.  

Another bit of exciting news is, of the 57 EMR students graduating tomorrow, 33 of the 57 are continuing to further their EMS Scope of Practice and have enrolled into the EMT classes beginning July 6th at the Central Louisiana Technical Community Colleges in Winnfield and Many.

A special shoutout to Ms. Donna Newchurch for securing a $1,000,000 + USDA grant to place digital/virtual equipment in all 9 regions of the state. This will afford us to reach more students in the future, saving them time and money with less travel.

If you have anyone interested (NO MATTER where they live) in either EMT or AEMT, please have them contact us at 985-974-9688 or email us at evon@ace4ems.org

On another note, let’s all join in and pray for a safe hurricane season and a healthy winter!