Paramedic education program retains national accreditation

JWCC paramedic graduates Jessica Anderson and Steve Frank

The Blessing Hospital/John Wood Community College Paramedic program has retained national accreditation from 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 Profession (CoA EMSP). 

“National accreditation is important to the pre-hospital quality of care available to all of us,” said Sandy Behl, paramedic program director, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department, Blessing Hospital.

“Accreditation demonstrates to students and the community that the Blessing/JWCC program meets the highest standards being set for paramedic programs today,” said Tom Bentley, chairman, Emergency Services Department, John Wood Community College.

  “It means the paramedic who cares for you or a loved one after an accident or sudden illness when an ambulance is needed, and who has completed an accredited program like ours, received an education that meets or exceed national standards.  Not all paramedic education programs are accredited,” Behl concluded.

Paramedic must pass a registry exam and/or be licensed to work.  Students applying to take the National Registry Examination for Paramedics must be graduates of a CAAHEP accredited program.  Students in many states, including Missouri and Iowa, must pass the National Registry Exam in order to apply for a state Paramedic licenses and be able to work.

The accreditation process includes a self-study and a site visit by national surveyors.  The self-study and data gathered during the site visit are reviewed and accreditation voted upon by members of both the CoA EMSP and the CAAHEP.

The Blessing/John Wood Paramedic Program retains its accreditation through September 30, 2022, pending the filing of annual reports to the CAAHEP.

The first paramedic students graduated from Blessing Hospital in 1977. Today, students earn college credit from John Wood Community College for completing the Paramedic program. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are prepared to take the National Registry Examination for Paramedics and/or the Illinois Paramedic Certification Examination. In addition to national certification, the Blessing/John Wood Paramedic program is recognized and approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

For more information on the Blessing/John Wood paramedic program, go to or call 217-223-8400, ext. 6590.

John Wood Community College is the educational link between business and community. JWCC collaboratively creates innovative and relevant academic and training programs with business leaders to educate young people and the workforce for today’s needs and tomorrow’s opportunities. JWCC has centers in Quincy, Pittsfield, Baylis and Mt. Sterling, Illinois. Programs include a comprehensive baccalaureate transfer curriculum, customized business training, career/technical degrees and certificates and personal enrichment courses.

Learn more at: