• Overview
  • Accreditation
  • Outcomes Assessment
  • Risks & Standards

This rigorous program prepares Emergency Medical Technicians for Massachusetts and National Registry Certification as Paramedics. It covers all aspects of advanced life support care and prepares its graduates to function as Paramedics in a variety of settings. Our CoAEMPS-accredited program starts every fall, meets two evenings per week plus an average of two Saturdays a month for 11 months, followed by 6-9 months of continued clinical and field internship experiences.

This is an evening and weekend program with classes held approximately five Saturdays per semester, and an option of evening classroom lectures at our Greenfield campus either Tuesday/Thursday or Monday/Wednesday. The GCC Paramedic program does NOT accept prior learning assessment for advanced placement into our program.

Paramedic is a health occupations program with a special admissions process and health requirements. You must submit a separate application to this program in addition to a general application for admission to GCC. Please review all criteria prior to applying!

What You'll StudyCourse Sequencing

GCC's Paramedic Certificate Program is a comprehensive course of study in advanced life support care.

Lecture Schedule
Section 1: Tue/Thurs 5-9:30pm
Section 2: Mon/Wed 5-9:30pm

Both sections meet together on scheduled Saturdays, 9am to 5pm at GCC for skills labs, seminar teaching and other specialty topics.

Curriculum Documents

To plan certificate completion, see the course descriptions in the academic catalog which specify the planned semester(s) in which required classes are to be scheduled.

This program follows a specific sequence of required courses. 100% attendance at all classes and clinical sessions is required. A strict attendance policy forces the supervised makeup of all missed work. Classes must be completed sequentially within 24 months of beginning the program. Consult our Student Handbook and academic calendar for policies and important dates.

Fall 1

EMS 105 – Principles of Advanced Life Support (5 credits)
Introduces the certified EMT to principles of Department of Transportation Advanced Life Support Curriculum.  Students study roles and responsibilities, EMS systems, legal and ethical issues, patient assessment, fundamentals of respiration and advanced airway management.  This course includes the fundamentals of perfusion and techniques of intravenous therapy.

In order to progress from Fall 1 to January Intersession, and from January Intersession to Spring 1, a minimum grade of 80% must be achieved.

January Intersession

EMS 202 – Pharmacology (2 credits)
Introduces pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.  The course includes a review of the metric system.  Students calculate drug dosage concentrations and IV medication infusion rates.  The course introduces basic concepts of pathophysiology.

Spring 1

EMS 203 – Management of Medical and Shock-Trauma Emergencies (8 credits)
Expands upon pharmacological interventions and integrates patient management skills with medical and trauma situations encountered by paramedics.  This course includes the pathophysiology and management of disease processes and shock-trauma conditions.  It provides special considerations of neonatology, pediatrics, geriatrics, medical incident command and rescue situations.  Students begin limited clinical experiences.  Students receive Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) certification and Pediatric Education for Pre-Hospital Professionals (PEPP-Advanced Life Support) certification upon successful course completion.

In order to progress from Spring 1 to Summer Session, and from Summer Session to Fall 2 and completion of clinical and field experience, a minimum grade of 80% must be achieved.

Summer Session

EMS 204 – Management of Cardiovascular Emergencies (8 credits)
A comprehensive approach to adult cardiac emergencies encountered by paramedics. The course includes cardiovascular pathophysiology, 3-lead and 12-lead dysrhythmia interpretation techniques, dysrhythmia management, electrical therapy and cardiac pharmacology. Students practice intensive patient management simulations. The student receives Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification upon successful course completion.

Fall 2 - Completion of clinical, monthly scheduled meetings, case study presentations, simulation scenarios, field clearance exam and a weekend PALS class

EMS 210 - Paramedic Clinical (2 credits)
Provides students with continued practice of invasive skills and patient management under the supervision and direction of licensed hospital staff.  Students attend 5 class meetings, integrate advanced patient management simulations and produce a research paper based on clinical experiences. Students attend Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) 2-day class.

EMS 211 - Paramedic Fieldwork Internship I (2 credits)
Provides assignments with certified Paramedics. Students perform pre-hospital treatment under supervision.

January/Spring 2Final completion of field time, field capstone, GCC paramedic completion (cognitive and sim scenarios) and NREMT exams

EMS 212 - Paramedic Field Internship II (2 credits)
Continuation and completion of fieldwork assignments with certified Paramedics. Includes fieldwork rotation at a high volume EMS systems in Western MA.

Course descriptions are available in the academic catalog. Find courses

GCC Paramedic Program Goal

Our Paramedic program goal is to prepare Paramedics who are competent in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) learning domains to enter the profession.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students completing a course of study in this program will be able to:
  • Demonstrate the ability to gather information, assess a patient, develop and execute a treatment plan as a team leader relative to the role of an entry-level paramedic
  • Conduct oneself in an ethical manner
  • Conduct oneself in a professional manner
  • Show proficiency in interpersonal relations and communication
  • Integrate pathophysiologic concepts with assessment findings to develop a field impression and treatment plan for patients with both medical and traumatic emergencies
  • Demonstrate technical proficiency in all of the skills necessary to fulfill the role of an entry-level Paramedic
  • Use critical thinking skills to assess and treat patients in a variety of settings
  • Communicate effectively through oral and written methods in a patient care setting
  • Demonstrate preparedness proficiency to pass the National Registry Paramedic Level cognitive and psychomotor examinations

What's Next

Take certification examination for NREMT-Paramedic.

Consider this program if

  • You are a currently certified Basic or Advanced EMT (minimum 75 patient contacts)
  • You want to improve and upgrade your patient care knowledge, ability and confidence
  • You are willing to make a serious commitment of time and energy to complete this demanding program

The Paramedic program of Greenfield Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP).

Massachusetts Office of Emergency Medical Services
67 Forest Street
Marlborough, MA 01752
(617) 753-7300

Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP)
8301 Lakeview Parkway Suite 111-312
Rowlett, TX 75088
(214) 703-8445

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP)
9355 - 113th St. N, #7709
Seminole, FL 33775
(727) 210-2350

GCC PMC Program Outcomes

Graduation Year 2019 2020 COVID 2021 2022 2023
Enrolled 29 retention 29 retention 22 retention 25 retention 17 retention
Completed 27 96% 22 76% 20 91% 21 84% 14 88%
NREMT Psychomotor pass rate pass rate   pass rate pass rate   pass rate
Passed 27 100% 20 95% 20 100% 20 95% 13* 100%
NREMT Cognitive pass rate pass rate pass rate pass rate pass rate
Passed 1st attempt 20 74% 19 90% 13 65% 18 89% 10 71%
Passed w/in 3 attempts 5 93% 1 91% 6 95% 2 95% 13 93%
Still eligible to test 2 0.07% 1 5% 0   1
Never passed 1 4% 1 5% 1 5%
Positive Placement 96% 86% 90% 90.5% 100%

* One (1) still eligible to test

Occupational Risks

Provision of emergency medical services poses inherent occupational risks for EMS responders. Risks include the following:

  • Violence/assaults
  • Verbal threats/aggression
  • Motor vehicle crashes
  • Infectious disease
  • Lifting injuries
  • Sprains and strains
  • Psychological trauma
  • Hazardous chemical exposure
  • Hyper/hypothermia

Technical Standards

  • Ambulatory and able to lift, carry and balance up to 100 pounds
  • Be in sufficient physical condition so as to be able to bend, stoop, balance and crawl on even and uneven terrain
  • Have the ability to withstand varied environmental conditions such as extreme heat, extreme cold and moisture, at times under prolonged conditions
  • Possess fine motor coordination and hand/eye/foot coordination required to perform technical and precise skills. Motor coordination may be defined as the ability to make a movement or response quickly and accurately
  • Possess the visual acuity necessary to perform technical skills and to make precise discriminations
  • Have sufficient verbal ability and auditory perception to be able to perform comprehensive patient assessment, management and transport
  • Be able to effectively communicate with patients, bystanders and other health care providers. Communication involves speech, reading, writing, and awareness of emotional messages included in body language, tone and presentation.
  • Have the emotional stability and maturity to exercise sound judgment while effectively completing patient care activities.