/////UAMS EMT Instructor Receives National Award
UAMS EMT Instructor Receives National Award 2018-01-05T09:16:53+00:00

Nov. 1, 2006 | To Garry Odom, a sergeant first class in the Arkansas Army National Guard, it seemed logical that a guard member who completed combat medic training should also be able to use that emergency medical training to serve the community.


Odom enlisted the Department of Emergency Medical Sciences at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) to sponsor the medic training so that guard members can be certified in Arkansas as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) when they receive their military medical training. Odom’s work implementing this program accompanied by his accomplishments as an instructor, earned him special recognition recently as the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Instructor of the Year by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT).


Emergency Medical Technician-Basics (often called EMTs) can perform basic life support skills, treat injured or seriously ill patients, and save lives. EMTs function in a variety of situations, from resuscitating a cardiac arrest victim to delivering a baby.


“Garry is to be commended on this award, which affirms what an excellent teacher he is and the quality education these Guard medics are receiving,” said Danny Bercher, chairman and assistant professor for the Department of Emergency Sciences in the UAMS College of Health Related Professions. “He spearheaded the implementation of a program in a way that helps the Guard prepare competent combat medics plus fulfills the UAMS mission to meet health care work force needs by producing civilian emergency medical professionals.”


Odom is the third EMT instructor at UAMS to receive the Mary Anne Talley EMS Instructor/Coordinator of the Year Award from the NAEMT. Instructor Dennis Mitchell and Tim S. Rinehart, an assistant professor in the program, previously received the award. Odom, Mitchell and Rinehart were each recognized as Arkansas EMT Instructors of the year on their respective journeys toward national recognition as well.


“I’m proud to be recognized,” said Odom, who may be the first active duty military member to receive the award. “If a soldier is going to go through the medic training – where they learn many advanced skills not in civilian EMT training – it makes sense that he or she should be able to use those skills to help the community or start a career.”


Already, several Guard members have completed the combined program to become combat medics and Arkansas-certified EMTs. Previously, the guardsmen had to apply for Arkansas EMT certification on their own if they wanted to work as an EMT in the state – even though they had national certification as the military required.


Odom credited UAMS and the EMS department faculty for their support in developing and implementing the program.


“They are excellent instructors, and I’ve picked up things from them that I use as an instructor,” he said.


The Guard members receive their training at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock from Arkansas Army National Guard instructors, but the educational program includes provisions to complete Arkansas EMT certification. The combat medic training is similar to a civilian EMT training, but there are elements that were different. For example, the military program doesn’t focus as much on situations such as vehicle extrication and childbirth.


During the training, the medics are enrolled in UAMS as students in the Emergency Medical Sciences EMT program. The students, whose tuition and fees are paid by the Guard, complete the clinical portion of their education in the UAMS Emergency Department and with area ambulance services.


UAMS also assists with administering the combined program and coordinating the certification test. With Arkansas EMT certification, combat medics are able to apply for the Arkansas civilian EMT jobs. An additional benefit to the program is that combat medics will practice many of the skills they use in their civilian EMT job on the battlefield, allowing them to maintain their skills.


The combat medics can learn more advanced lifesaving techniques through additional paramedic training and certification.


EMS professionals are in high demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects to see a more than 35 percent increase in the demand for paramedics and EMTs in the next five years.



Links on This Page

UAMS, Arkansas Army National Guard Join Forces to Improve Emergency Medical Training: http://www.uams.edu/update/absolutenm/templates/news_release_jerri.asp?articleid=3840&zoneid=33


UAMS Department of Emergency Medical Sciences: http://www.uams.edu/chrp/ems/


UAMS College of Health Related Professions: http://www.uams.edu/chrp/


National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians: http://www.naemt.org/


Arkansas Army National Guard: http://www.arguard.org/