The paramedic program at City College of Montana State University Billings was recently awarded continuing accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Continuing accreditation of the paramedic program was approved for compliance of the Emergency Medical Services Standards by CAAHEP on March 22, 2021. The paramedic program has been successfully accredited since 2002 and this continuing accreditation award is valid through 2026.
Due to COVID-19, this was the first year that CAAHEP has ever conducted a virtual site visit. The paramedic program at City College was the second program to have a virtual visit in the nation. Out of the 80 programs that needed to have site visits this year, CAAHEP narrowed it down to 13 programs that were able to have a virtual site visit due to not having previous issues they felt they needed to review more in-depth.
CAAHEP noted several areas of strength in their accreditation review of the program. Top strengths include excellent clinical and field resources for class size along with involved and highly regarded preceptors. Strengths in the area of personnel include active, engaged administration and medical director, an excellent advisory committee, and a strong, knowledgeable, respected program director.
Program Director Chad Landon deserves much of the credit in the ongoing success of the paramedic program. Landon took over as the paramedic program director in 2016. Prior, he has been an instructor at MSUB since 2006 and a trained paramedic since 2004. His experience in paramedics spans from transporting ambulance, flight team, industrial medicine at an underground mine, and a fire fighter paramedic. This serves him well as he leads the program and accreditation efforts.
The goal of accreditation is to aid educational programs who prepare health professionals in a variety of disciplinary areas. Accreditation is one step in a process that is meant to protect the public and ensure a supply of qualified health care professionals. The CAAHEP has 25 Committees on Accreditation (CoAs) that work with the 32 profession areas.