"Welcome to the EMS Academy. Our unique institution is part of the Department of Emergency Medicine in the UNM Health Sciences Center School of Medicine. Our faculty are local, regional and national leaders in EMS and EMS education. Collectively we are involved in all aspects of prehospital care including, but not limited to, education, medical direction, direct field care, research and system development. In every class you will benefit from this breadth of expertise and experience.

This may be the beginning of your EMS career or your chance to expand upon prior knowledge and experience. You may be learning with us for a short refresher course or for several years in a Bachelor’s degree program. In either case you will be challenged to excel by our expert instructors and staff. In EMS we often enter our patient’s lives at the worst possible times, and may ultimately be responsible for their outcome, so we must maintain the highest ethical, professional and academic standards. The reward, for those who are able to make it through, is an amazing opportunity to help our communities."

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Dr. Darren Braude, MD
Medical Director, EMS Academy

About Us

As the UNM EMS Academy reaches its 39th anniversary, it's clear that the small group of idealists who founded EMSA in 1972 would scarcely recognize the agency today. EMSA remains the largest EMS training agency in New Mexico, and remains our state’s designated lead training agency. We are one of few agencies nationally to offer a state-wide education program, and we are now one of only nine university programs to offer a Bachelor’s degree in EMS. Thousands of students turn to EMSA every year for their EMS education needs.

defibrillatorEMSA has a distinguished history: The first course offered by the academy, in 1972, was an emergency medical technician- ambulance program, 81 hours in length. That same year, an instructor course was first offered.

Quickly, basic life support training was rolled out throughout New Mexico. Using the Academy as home base, a rural instructor cadre was developed, and courses were offered across the state.

On December 6, 1974, the first class of Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians- all firefighters from Albuquerque or Bernalillo County- graduated. Shortly afterwards, advanced life support training was rolled out in Albuquerque.

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In 1997, the faculty of the School of Medicine at University of New Mexico approved a Bachelor of Science degree program in emergency medical services. Now with 200 students in the program, it remains one of the largest and best-known EMS bachelor’s degree programs nationally.

In addition to its robust rural outreach training program, aggressive research program, and in-house Paramedic Program and BLS academic courses, the Academy also offers a wide variety of advanced level and specialty classes, including a newly expanded mountain medicine program.

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EMSA is home to a busy contracts division, which delivers customized education to large corporate and governmental agencies. We currently offer state-of-the-art EMS education to military clients. In addition, our staff has many years of experience working advising, international clients seeking expertise in EMS systems design, education, and management.

What makes EMSA different?

Our Students: Our students come from all corners of the world, from across the US and from every county in New Mexico. In 2008 EMSA trained over 2000 students-- from EMS volunteers earning their First Responder certificates, to students working on bachelor’s degrees in EMS, to experienced paramedics training to become flight, and intensive care specialists.

Our Staff: As the lead training agency in New Mexico, EMSA employs a dedicated team of instructors at our training academy in Albuquerque, as well as over 150 instructors spread out across New Mexico.

Our Curriculum: Our well-developed curricular infrastructure fulfills all national and regional requirements and is designed to stimulate and challenge the learner. Experienced and expert lecturers teach our courses, and curricula are reviewed by physicians and educational experts.

Our Diversity: We recognize that the needs of diverse students are both similar to those of any students, and just as often different.

Our Resources: The UNM EMS Academy is a division of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Our students have access to all of the resources available through the UNM Health Sciences Center. EMSA staff and students are active members of the University of New Mexico community.

The UNM campus -- with a law school, undergraduate and graduate studies programs, a school of medicine and multiple programs in the allied health sciences-- is an ideal environment for the interchange of ideas and multidisciplinary growth. Students often rotate at University Hospital, and may arrange for rotations at other School of Medicine teaching hospitals such as the UNM Cancer Center, the UNM Mental Health Center, the UNM Children's Psychiatric Hospital and Carrie Tingley Hospital. The Medical Center Library, located on the School of Medicine campus, houses almost 100,000 bound journal volumes. During their training our students will interact with a talented faculty, with medical students, and with residents and fellows from 41 different medical specialties.

EMSA also operates a fleet of trucks and trailers designed to distribute learning materials and resources to our instructors across the State. We pride ourselves on being able to offer instructional resources to the smallest towns in our rural state.