Many emergency medical agencies throughout the United States are facing critical shortages of qualified paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs).  Acadian Ambulance, the largest privately owned ambulance company in the nation, has been able to avoid the shortfall.

“Even though we have been fortunate to remain fully staffed during this shortage, we are hiring both paramedics and EMTs on an ongoing basis, primarily because of the tremendous growth of Acadian,” said Randall Mann, Acadian’s vice president of marketing and public relations.

The largest cause of the shortage is the lack of EMS academies. Acadian Ambulance dealt with a similar shortage in 2003 and established the National EMS Academy (NEMSA) that year to keep up with the rising demand for medics. That forward thinking has allowed Acadian to remain adequately staffed while many other ambulance services are not.

Kirk LaCour, director of NEMSA, said: “Before the creation of NEMSA, Acadian had to rely on local training programs to produce new medics. However, Acadian was growing too fast and the programs were not meeting our needs. By training our own medics, we are able to not only ensure the quality of their education but also make sure Acadian’s ambulances remain staffed and ready to serve.”

Another factor contributing to the shortage is the decreasing number of paramedics graduating from most programs. At NEMSA, however, the pass rate for paramedics in 2012 was 89 percent, 8 percent above the national average.

NEMSA has seven locations throughout Louisiana and two in Texas, and produces medics that serve in Acadian Ambulance’s operations in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. NEMSA also trains medics for other ambulance services and offers continuing education courses to the public and healthcare professionals.

Mann said, “Acadian actively recruits both existing paramedics and EMTs and also those interested in joining the emergency medicine profession.  It’s a great career choice because a student can earn their EMT certification within just a few months and the job opportunities, both locally and nationally, are tremendous.”

NEMSA’s paramedic classes begin in January and August, while EMT-Basic courses start in January, May and August.  Interested parties can call 1.866.459.3500 or visit To learn more about current job opportunities with Acadian Ambulance, please go to

Since 1971, Acadian has provided the highest level of emergency medical care and transportation possible. In the past decade, the company has expanded to include a diverse suite of services in health, safety, and transportation. Acadian’s six divisions are Acadian Ambulance Service, Acadian Monitoring Services, Air Med, Executive Aircraft Charter Service, National EMS Academy and Safety Management Systems.


Cutline: National EMS Academy students practice loading a patient into the ambulance unit.

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