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As the UNM EMS Academy reaches its 39th anniversary, it's clear that the small group of idealists who founded EMSA in 1972 would scarcely recognize the agency today. EMSA remains the largest EMS training agency in New Mexico, and remains our state’s designated lead training agency. We are one of few agencies nationally to offer a state-wide education program, and we are now one of only nine university programs to offer a Bachelor’s degree in EMS. Thousands of students turn to EMSA every year for their EMS education needs.
EMSA has a distinguished history: The first course offered by the academy, in 1972, was an emergency medical technician- ambulance program, 81 hours in length. That same year, an instructor course was first offered.
Quickly, basic life support training was rolled out throughout New Mexico. Using the Academy as home base, a rural instructor cadre was developed, and courses were offered across the state.
On December 6, 1974, the first class of Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians- all firefighters from Albuquerque or Bernalillo County- graduated. Shortly afterwards, advanced life support training was rolled out in Albuquerque.
In 1997, the faculty of the School of Medicine at University of New Mexico approved a Bachelor of Science degree program in emergency medical services. Now with 200 students in the program, it remains one of the largest and best-known EMS bachelor’s degree programs nationally.
In addition to its robust rural outreach training program, aggressive research program, and in-house Paramedic Program and BLS academic courses, the Academy also offers a wide variety of advanced level and specialty classes, including a newly expanded mountain medicine program.
EMSA is home to a busy contracts division, which delivers customized education to large corporate and governmental agencies. We currently offer state-of-the-art EMS education to military clients. In addition, our staff has many years of experience working advising, international clients seeking expertise in EMS systems design, education, and management.