Manatee County Community Paramedic earns Florida's first international certification

Manatee County Community Paramedic earns Florida's first international certification
Posted on 04/25/2018

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (April 25, 2018) – Manatee County Community Paramedic, Earl Kulpa, has become the first internationally certified community paramedic in Florida, one of only 112 in the nation.

Kulpa now he holds a high level of credentialing from the International Board of Specialty Certification (IBSC) as an internationally certified community paramedic. The Certified Community Paramedic Examination focuses on the knowledge level of experienced community paramedics, including competency in mobile-integrated healthcare, expanded EMS services in rural and urban settings, services beyond traditional emergency care and transport and various other healthcare, mental health and service needs, according to the IBSC.

"In Public Safety, we pride ourselves on being innovative and we constantly strive to provide the highest level of service possible to our community," said Manatee County Public Safety Director Bob Smith. "Earl is the perfect example of this spirit. He is always seeking to improve himself and the Community Paramedic program overall and we are very proud of him for this accomplishment."

Community paramedicine is an emerging healthcare method that expands the reach of primary care and public health services by utilizing EMS personnel to care for individuals outside of the hospital in non-urgent settings, performing patient assessments and other preventative care measures.

Since launching in 2016, Manatee County's Community Paramedic division has graduated 144 patients from the Community Paramedic Program, addressing a multitude of medical and social issues. It has also diverted more than 500 ambulance transports and received more than 675 program referrals from community partners, resulting in $818,000 in avoidable health care costs since program inception.

"I am extremely proud of the whole team and how we have become true leaders in the Community Paramedic initiative," said Community Paramedicine Chief James Crutchfield.

“The concept of community paramedicine is to keep people out of the hospital and redirect the treatment of illnesses and injuries by providing primary preventative healthcare in the community,” Kulpa said.

Kulpa received Manatee’s Rookie of the Year Award in both 2015 and 2016. The Manatee Chamber of Commerce honored Manatee County’s Community Paramedic Program with the 2017 Institution/Program Award.

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