Shaping Our Region’s Emergency Response

September 23, 2019

Penrose-St. Francis EMS Institute and St. Anthony’s Paramedic Academy at Penrose Hospital


When a person suffers a life-threatening emergency like a heart attack or stroke, paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) have an undeniable impact on life-or-death outcomes. EMTs and paramedics are healthcare heroes who save lives, they are the first to respond to medical emergencies and accidents, putting themselves in harm’s way to selflessly help others.


The Pikes Peak region’s future generations of first responders are trained and empowered at Penrose-St. Francis EMS Institute and St. Anthony’s Parademic Academy at Penrose Hospita, where a connected community of caregivers provides medical direction, monthly continuing education, and continuous quality improvement to 40 EMS and fire agencies in El Paso and Teller counties.


At Centura Health, we are on a mission to change the world around us. Our collective focus to care for the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – is building healthier individuals, healthier families, and healthier neighborhoods. Being in pursuit of more than just health means we are always looking for ways to further nourish our local communities. The EMS Institute offers every resident from every community in the Pikes Peak region an opportunity to become emergency medical services providers and make a powerful difference.


Sue Richardson, manager of the EMS Institute in Penrose Hospital, said the program has been developed progressively over time to give students the best quality in training and to meet our community’s need for EMS providers. All classes and training are open to the public, a first paramedic cohort has recently graduated and a new one will begin classes later in the fall.


“The St. Anthony’s Paramedic Academy at Penrose Hospital helps address a critical shortage of EMS personnel in our region,” Richardson explained. “In my experience, there have been mandatory hire backs over the past 5-6 years in the Pikes Peak region. Our communities need to rely on 9-1-1 when they face life-threatening emergencies and we are doing our best to help address the paramedic shortage.”


The St. Anthony’s Paramedic Academy at Penrose Hospital’s curriculum requires classroom training, clinical work, and field internship – and is nationally accredited. Through an arrangement with Pikes Peak Community College, students who complete the paramedic academy program can apply for college credits toward advanced studies.


The EMS Institute provides monthly educational opportunities to meet state and national requirements for Emergency Medical Responders, Emergency Medical Technicians, and Paramedic Recertification to fire and EMS agency providers in El Paso and Teller counties. Continuous quality improvement through monthly chart audits, patient follow-up, EMS provider monthly skills assessment, and annual medical director testing for all EMS providers are also among services offered.




Through an arrangement with Pikes Peak Community College, students who complete the paramedic academy program can apply for college credits toward advanced studies.



Students have the advantage of being in a hospital-based program, getting hands-on experience every day in an educational environment that is most conducive and aligned with real-life situations. EMS students get to have a direct connection with hospital providers to understand the continuum of patient care through their clinical experience.


“Our EMT and paramedic students are getting exposed to what it’s really like in emergency departments in hospitals and in community-based, non-emergency facilities,” Richardson said. “There are critical care opportunities, flight opportunities, and education opportunities.”


Through partnerships with 40 EMS and fire agencies representing 1,500 providers and five EMS medical directors in El Paso and Teller counties, the PSF EMS Institute and Paramedic Academy creates bonds that elevate patient care and provide seamless transitions from pre-hospital to hospital providers.


The EMS Institute and Paramedic Academy at Penrose Hospital:


Provides an average of 25 high-quality, evidence-based EMS education classes each month.


Offers professional development plans that structure the continuing education offered for recertification to each EMS provider (EMS, EMT, Advanced Emergency Medical Responder, and Paramedic).


Participates at multiple EMS and community events annually.


Provides leadership and strategic direction for pre-hospital services and support EMS partners and EMS Medical Directors in providing care to communities throughout the Pikes Peak region.


For more information and to register, please visit

or call 719.776.3673.




Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Please reload

More from Colorado
Living Well Magazine