Administration

Kirk Lacour

Director of National EMS Academy

Kirk LaCour serves as the Director of the National EMS Academy, the training division of Acadian Ambulance Service, Inc. In addition to this role, he also serves as Associate General Counsel, Associate Privacy Officer, and Legislative Lobbyist in Acadian Ambulance Service’s legal, risk management, and compliance departments. Kirk has been in the field of Emergency Medical Services for 20 years and has worked as an EMT-Basic, EMT-Paramedic, Field Training Officer, EMS Educator, and now is responsible for training all of Acadian Ambulance Service’s EMT’s and Paramedics at nine campuses across Louisiana and Texas. He has associate degrees in Emergency Medical Services and Biology (Our Lady of the Lake College-Baton Rouge), Bachelor’s Degrees in Human Medicine and Health Sciences (Our Lady of the Lake College-Baton Rouge), an MBA from LSU, and a Juris Doctorate Degree from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge.

Kirk has worked in all facets of public service, as a police officer, firefighter, paramedic, corrections officer, an assistant coroner, and now as a licensed attorney in Louisiana. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America achieving the rank of Eagle Scout in 1993. He is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Business Honor Society, Golden Key International Business Honor Society, Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society for Collegiate Schools of Business, and received numerous CALI Excellence for the Future Awards. Kirk completed the FEMA Professional Development Series of Emergency Management and has worked as a training specialist for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Disaster Management System. In 2015, he was appointed to the Louisiana EMS Task Force to represent EMS Education Institutions in Louisiana and currently serves as Chairman of this Task Force. Kirk is a lifetime member of the Louisiana Association of Nationally Registered EMTs, a lifetime member of the Louisiana Tactical Emergency Medical Society, a member of the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, and a member of the American Bar Association, the Louisiana State Bar Association, and the Avoyelles Parish Bar Association. Lastly, as an attorney, he is licensed to practice law in Louisiana and has been admitted to practice law in the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, and the United States Tax Court.

Gifford Saravia Headshot

Gifford Saravia

Paramedic Program Manager

Gifford Saravia has been involved in EMS since 1991 and has been a paramedic since 1994. Gifford oversees orientation, the American Heart Training Center, and the supervisory training program, ACES, for Acadian Companies. He is a graduate of Northwestern State University with a bachelor's degree in Unified Public Safety Administration, South Louisiana Community College with an associate degree in applied science paramedic, Southern Technical College with an associate in electronics technology, and the Moody Executive Institute at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Richard Belle

Richard Belle

Continuing Education Manager

Richard Belle began his EMS career with Acadian in 1996 after completing paramedic training at Nicholls State University, earning a bachelor of science degree. He is responsible for the development, implementation, and tracking of education for Acadian.
Richard has worked throughout south Louisiana as a field medic, preceptor, and flight medic. He has been actively involved in EMS education since 1998 and is a co-founder of the National EMS Academy. In addition to his Acadian responsibilities, he is a father of three children, a national speaker, and a published author of textbooks and other EMS education materials.

Medical Directors

Charles Burnell, M.D.

Charles Burnell, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer, Lafayette/Lake Charles

Charles Burnell, M.D., serves as lead overall associate medical directors across Acadian's service areas. Dr. Burnell reviews on-scene medical procedures and protocols between medics and emergency room physicians. He oversees training and continuing education programs at NEMSA, Acadian's wellness and quality enhancement programs, as well as Acadian's HSE program. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University School of Medicine and is board certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. Before becoming medical director, Dr. Burnell worked closely with Acadian for 16 years, including the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina where he served as the director of air transports of patients from the Superdome. Dr. Burnell graduated summa cum laude with a degree in biochemistry at Louisiana State University.

Emily Kidd, M.D

Medical Director, Beaumont/Austin

Dr. Emily Kidd, Acadian's Texas medical director, oversees the company’s clinical operations throughout the state. She has an extensive background in clinical Emergency Medicine and EMS and serves as the assistant medical director for the San Antonio Fire Department and the assistant medical director for the Houston Fire Department’s Division of EMS. Dr. Kidd is also a member of the Texas Governor’s EMS and Trauma Advisory Council (GETAC) Disaster and Emergency Preparedness Committee and the Federal Emergency Management Agency National Advisory Council.

Dr. Kidd is a double-board certified in Emergency Medical Services and Emergency Medicine and is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians. She is an assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Department of Emergency Health Sciences at San Antonio.

Rosemary St. Clergy, M.D.

Rosemary St. Clergy, M.D.

Medical Director, Alexandria

Dr. Rosemary St. Clergy began her medical career in 1984, after graduating from LSU Medical Center in Shreveport. Though her heart was in emergency medicine, ER residencies were not available at the time, so she completed a residency in family medicine at Earl K. Long Hospital in Baton Rouge. She then worked as an emergency room doctor at Our Lady of Lourdes in Lafayette until 2004, earning an MBA from Tulane and becoming OLOL’s Medical Director at that time. Dr. St. Clergy came to NEMSA in 2007 and helped create the CCT program. In her spare time, she loves gardening and spending time with her two dogs, two cats, and two grandchildren.

Michael Loewe, M.D.

Medical Director, Baton Rouge

Dr. Michael Loewe started as an EMT and obtained his paramedic license while attending Tulane University. He worked in New Orleans as a paramedic before starting medical school at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. Dr. Loewe trained in emergency medicine at Charity Hospital/LSUHSC. He has been working in the emergency medicine department of Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge for 14 years.

Fredro Knight, M.D.

Medical Director, Covington

Dr. Fredro Knight is board certified in Emergency Medicine. He trained in EMS and Emergency Medicine at the University of Chicago where he participated in the flight and international transport program. He also serves as the medical director for three St. Tammany Fire Districts.

Donald Thibodaux, M.D.

Donald Thibodaux, M.D.

Medical Director, Houma

Dr. Donald Thibodaux's background in emergency and occupational medicine provides an advantage in understanding OSHA incident classifications and their effects on the oil and gas industry. He is on 24-hour call for emergency physician consultations and helps teach clinical extension courses and training sessions with our team to ensure the highest quality emergency medical response in the Gulf of Mexico.
A graduate of Nicholls State University, Dr. Thibodaux received his bachelor's degree in chemistry before attending LSU Medical Center in New Orleans. After completing his emergency medicine residency at Charity Hospital at New Orleans, he spent 20 years practicing hospital-based emergency medicine in Houma, Louisiana.

Louisiana Instructors

Regional Coordinators

Andy Bruch

Andy Bruch

Baton Rouge and Covington

Andy Bruch has been involved in EMS since 1974 and has been an EMS instructor since 1977. He oversees the Baton Rouge and Covington sites. He has a bachelor's degree in biology from Bluefield State College and a master's degree in health services administration. Andy also graduated from Baton Rouge General School of Nursing as an RN and is a certified emergency nurse.

Chris Bearb

Lake Charles

Chris Bearb has been working in EMS since 1993. Throughout his career, Chris has worked on an ambulance, as an offshore remote paramedic, education coordinator, and currently serves as a regional coordinator where he oversees the day-to-day operations at NEMSA's Lake Charles and Beaumont campuses. Chris has an associate degree in applied science and is working on a bachelor's degree in unified public service management from Northwestern State University.

Alexandria Faculty

Jessica Hirtzler

Education Coordinator

Jessica Hirtzler has worked for Acadian since 1994 as an EMT and paramedic. She currently teaches the paramedic classes in Alexandria. Jessica has an associate degree in applied science from South Louisiana Community College.

Chris Warrick

Instructor

Chris Warrick started his career in EMS with Acadian in 2016 as an EMT. In September 2017, he earned his Paramedic at NEMSA. He began teaching at NEMSA Alexandria in the fall of 2019.

Baton Rouge Faculty

David Finley

Education Coordinator

David Finley has been involved in EMS since 1989 and an instructor since 2005. He is the regional coordinator for the Baton Rouge campus and is the assistant instructor for the paramedic program. David has an associate degree in applied science from South Louisiana Community College.

Alan Lambert

Instructor

Alan Lambert has been involved in EMS since 1989. Alan is the paramedic course instructor at the Baton Rouge campus. He served on the board of directors of the National Association of State EMS Officials and as the Chairman of the National Education and Professional Standards Council. In 2011, he was invited to the Emergency Services and Homeland Security Education mission in Israel. He has an associate of applied science and AAS paramedic degree from Baton Rouge Community College.

Covington Faculty

Melissa Atkins

Melissa Atkins

Instructor

Melissa Atkins is a Paramedic with Acadian Ambulance with a tenure of 14 years. She is currently working towards her associate degree in applied science.

Drayton Kittle

Drayton Kittel

Instructor

Drayton Kittel came to work in EMS in 2011 after finishing his enlistment in the Louisiana Army National Guard. He has a background in military intelligence and linguistics. He holds two associate degrees from the Defense Language Institute: one in human intelligence operations and one in Arabic. He served as a paramedic and preceptor in his hometown of Slidell and his now the EMT instructor in Covington.

New Orleans Faculty

Johnathan Dees

Instructor

Johnathan Dees has been involved in EMS since 2009 and an instructor since 2012. A NEMSA alumni, he received his associate degree in applied science from South Louisiana Community College. Johnathan decided to change his career from IT to the EMS field after being inspired by his paramedic father-in-law. He attended the National EMS Academy's EMT class in Jefferson Parish and joined the Acadian family in 2009. He immediately recognized that he loved this line of work. He then went through the paramedic course in Gretna. During his time as an EMT and while going through paramedic class, Johnathan volunteered at the Academy every chance he got. He began teaching the paramedic class full-time in 2012.

Christian Wild

Christian Wild

Instructor

Christian Wild has been involved in EMS since 2013 and became an instructor in 2019. He became an EMT in 2013 and became a paramedic through the NEMSA program in 2015. He also received an associate degree in applied science from South Louisiana Community College in 2015. Currently, Christian teaches the EMT program at NEMSA's New Orleans campus and is a BLS and ACLS instructor.

Lisa Grundmann

Lisa Grundmann

Instructor

Lisa Grundmann has been involved in EMS since 2011. Alumni of NEMSA, she has been a paramedic since 2016. Lisa began helping at the academy shortly after graduation and officially joined the Acadian family as a paramedic instructor in Elmwood in 2019. Lisa graduated with an associates degree of applied science from South Louisiana Community College. Afterward, Lisa obtained her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern State University.

Ryan Starr

Instructor

Kenneth "Ryan" Starr began his EMS career in 2011, after completing an active duty assignment with the US Marine Corps. Ryan previously worked in the Jefferson Parish area. In addition to teaching with NEMSA, Ryan obtained his AHA instructor certification.

Houma Faculty

Robert Clement

Robert Clement

Houma and New Orleans

Robert Clement has been involved in EMS since 1984 and EMS education since 1995. Rob oversees all aspects of training at the National EMS Academy campuses in Houma and Gretna and has an associate degree in applied science from South Louisiana Community College.

Kristi Duplantis

Kristi Duplantis

Houma

Kristi Duplantis has been involved in EMS since 2014, beginning her career as a high school emergency medical responder instructor. In 2016, she attended the National EMS Academy and became an EMT. In 2017, Kristi began working for Acadian while still assisting in educating and mentoring other high school teachers to become EMR instructors. In 2019, she became the explorer chief executive of the Bayou area explorer program. Shortly after, she became a NEMSA instructor. Kristi has a Bachelor of Science and a Masters in the Art of Teaching and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Nicholls State University. Kristi will pursue her paramedic licensure this fall.

Stacey Kaizer

Education Coordinator

Stacey Kaizer has been involved with EMS since 1997 and has been an EMS Instructor since 2007. Stacey develops and instructs recertification material for EMS providers. She has a associate degree in EMS-paramedics and a bachelor's degree from Nicholls State University in allied health management and supervision. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, exercising, and spending time with her family.

Glenn Naquin

Education Coordinator

Glenn Naquin started in EMS in 1993 and received his paramedic certification in 1996. He has worked in fire, ground ambulance, offshore medic, and aviation medical services. Glenn became an education coordinator for NEMSA in 2010. He has a bachelor's in psychology and a master's degree in professional counseling from Liberty University.

Lafayette Faculty

Paul Duplantis

Clinical Coordinator

Paul Duplantis has been involved with EMS since 1992 and teaches EMT and paramedic courses. Paul is a certified Louisiana EMS Instructor and also teaches, PHTLS, AMLS, ACLS, and BLS courses. He has an associate degree of applied science from South Louisiana Community College and is a national registry representative.

Chris Mixon

Chris Mixon

Developmental Editor

Chris Mixon has been involved in EMS since 1981. He completed his EMT, intermediate and paramedic training with Acadian and has worked as a medic in multiple fields. Since 1997, he has been a part of NEMSA serving as the developmental editor where he assists subject matter experts in writing and developing new educational materials for EMS providers. Chris has an associate degree in emergency health science from South Louisiana Community College, a bachelor's in unified public safety from Northwestern State, and a master's degree in adult education from Northwestern State.

Jennifer Melancon

Education Coordinator

Jennifer Melancon began her EMS career in 1998 and became a paramedic in 2005. Jennifer develops and teaches recertification material and coordinates the recertification process for the nationally registered medics in Louisiana and Texas. She has a bachelor's in education from Louisiana State University, an associate degree in emergency health science from Our Lady of the Lake College and is a graduate of the National EMS Academy.

Clay Romero

Clay Romero

Instructor

Clay Romero has been involved in EMS as a paramedic since 2005 and teaches EMT and Paramedic courses. Clay is a certified Louisiana EMS Instructor through the Louisiana Bureau of EMS and also teaches PHTLS, AMLS, BLS, ACLS, and PALS courses and holds the position of training center faculty through the American Heart Association. Clay has an Associate of Applied Science from South Louisiana Community College and is also a graduate of the National EMS Academy.

Harry Murphy

Instructor

Harry Murphy started his EMS career in 1985 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and has practiced in six states before joining NEMSA in 2008. Harry teaches the EMT and paramedic programs and administers learning management system platforms for the paramedic level. He has an associate's degree in emergency health science and a bachelor's degree in public safety administration from Northwestern State University.

TJ Dronet

Timothy Dronet

Instructor

Timothy (TJ) Dronet has been involved in EMS since 2009 and teaches EMT and Paramedic classes. TJ is a certified Louisiana EMS Instructor through the Louisiana Bureau of EMS. He also teaches BLS, ACLS and PALS courses. Additionally, TJ holds the position of training center faculty through the American Heart Association. He is a graduate of the National EMS Academy and obtained an associate of applied science from South Louisiana Community College.

Lake Charles Faculty

Karri Douget

Education Coordinator

Karri Douget has been involved with EMS since 1991 and has worked on the ambulance, in Air Med, and education divisions of Acadian. Karri has been an EMT and paramedic instructor with NEMSA since 2009. She has an associate degree in criminal justice from SOWELA Community College in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Texas Instructors

Regional Coordinators

Martin Lee

Martin Lee

Austin

Martin Lee has been involved in EMS since 1996 with the U.S. Army. He has been directly involved in the EMS training programs, continuing education, and the new hire process at NEMSA's Austin campus since 2007. In addition to his EMS instructor credentials, Martin has a master's degree in acupuncture and oriental medicine from the Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin.

Chris Bearb

Beaumont

Chris Bearb has been working in EMS since 1993. Throughout his career, Chris has worked on an ambulance, as an offshore remote paramedic, education coordinator, and currently serves as a regional coordinator where he oversees the day-to-day operations at NEMSA's Lake Charles and Beaumont campuses. Chris has an associate degree in applied science and is working on a bachelor's degree in unified public service management from Northwestern State University.

Austin Faculty

James Stuart

James Stuart

Instructor

James Stuart began working in EMS in 2000. He made his start with Acadian in 2007 and over the course of his career has held positions as a paramedic, preceptor, field training officer, EMS instructor, Allsafe & EVOC instructor, AHA instructor and national EMT instructor. James teaches the EMT class in Austin and assists with the paramedic class, AHA courses, and orientation for new employees to Acadian.

Beaumont Faculty

Rebecca Gallagher

Rebecca Gallagher

Instructor

Rebecca Gallagher has been involved in EMS since 2005 and became a paramedic through NEMSA in 2011. She began working full-time with NEMSA as an EMS instructor in 2014. She now the lead instructor for the Beaumont paramedic class and the Clinical Coordinator for the Beaumont site.

John Edgar

John Edgar

Instructor

John Edgar has been involved in EMS since 2011. He achieved his paramedic certification in 2013. John began teaching EMT students in 2014 then, paramedic students in 2015 while working in the field part-time. Also, he achieved an associate's degree in emergency medical services. Currently, John is the primary EMT instructor as well as the secondary paramedic instructor at the Beaumont campus.

San Antonio Faculty

Leo barahona

Leo Barahona

Education Coordinator

Leo Barahona has been involved in emergency medical services since 1999. He received a bachelor of science from The University of Texas Health Science Center of San Antonio in Emergency Health Sciences. Currently, he is working towards his master’s degree in public health from Baylor University. During his career, he served as a disaster response coordinator during hurricanes, fires and floods making sure to provide adequate staffing for shelter clinics. Also, Leo spent seven years as a tactical medic with Guadalupe County S.W.A.T. and is an active member of the Comal County search and rescue team. For seven years, he provided education for the United States Army medics, San Antonio Fire Department personnel and Johnson City EMS. Leo joined the NEMSA team in 2018 and currently teaches in San Antonio. Outside of work, he is a husband, a father, a martial arts instructor and a numismatist.

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