Spotlight on UCC's EMS Program

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Aaron Thompson

A quality program composed of dedicated instructors and students.

Aaron Thompson - Current UCC Student

Current UCC Paramedic Program student, Aaron Thompson, already has two Associate in Arts and Sciences degrees from Umpqua Community College, but he hasn’t reached the end of his educational path just yet. The way this young man speaks about education, he may find himself on an unending journey towards the collection of additional knowledge. Aaron speaks comfortably about the fact that “it’s hard to put a price on great education.”

Aaron sees a promising future for himself, his beautiful wife and three wonderful children ages one, three and five years old. He talks about currently having a foot in the door at Douglas County Fire District Two in the Emergency Medical Services division and how his past and current education relate to his future success, “I can only go upwards once I obtain my Paramedic License.”

“At UCC, I feel that my constant search to better myself encourages other students to better themselves.” Aaron goes on to say, “I’m a knowledgeable resource to help other students understand the materials being taught. In the community I am already a public servant both as an EMT and as an Airman in the guard. When I complete the medic program I will become more of a resource and a better emergency medical provider to the community.”

Aaron labels current Paramedic Coordinator Roger Kennedy as his greatest help and influence. He goes on to explain how Roger’s guidance and help have enabled him to work full-time and to obtain his license this August. Aaron also credits Ann Abel in the Veterans Affairs office as “instrumental in helping me secure my VA benefits for schooling.”

An often quoted piece of advice seems to ring very true in Aaron’s case; in fact it seems to mirror his life and the way he prepares for his future. “In order to get where you want to go, the only person stopping you is you. If you can understand that you are the key and hold yourself responsible for your actions, you will find your way and the cost of the opportunities will pay for themselves.”

Photo: Aaron Thompson (Top) Credit: UCC Staff

Roger Kennedy - Contact
Associate Professor, EMT/Paramedics
Phone: 541-440-7680

Alexandra Thompson - Paramedic

Alexandra Thompson“As the youngest of three kids in a health-care family, it was a no brainer that I would go to work in medicine,” says Alexandra Thompson, former UCC student and paramedic with Fire District Two in Roseburg. “Ever since I was quite young I knew I would follow in my big brother’s paramedic footsteps.” Alexandra’s career started at Sweet Home Fire and Ambulance District where she worked for two years as an EMT/Firefighter. From there she moved to Lebanon Community Hospital as an ER Unit Secretary for two years before transferring to Roseburg to pursue her Associate of Applied Science degree from Umpqua Community College.

Alexandra had applied multiple times to Chemeketa Community College’s very competitive paramedic program because it was closest to her home. This very persistent young woman eventually decided to widen her search. Alexandra recalls, “UCC was the next closest to where I was living at the time. I was immediately accepted and began making plans to relocate to Roseburg to pursue my degree.”

Alexandra recalls how she felt when she first arrived in Roseburg and registered for classes at UCC. “I was in a new town and literally knew no one, but the program directors and the program aides at UCC really made a difference for me. I always felt as though they all have been where I was. They knew what was important and where to push me so I stepped outside of my comfort zone. I would not be the person or paramedic I am today without them.” Alexandra plans to continue her pre-hospital emergency care career until she feels it is time for a transition to pursue her nursing degree. “For right now, my focus is to continue to regain my life after school. I will be getting married this year and hopefully starting a family soon.”

Photo: Alexandra Thompson (Right) Credit: UCC Staff

Roger Kennedy - Contact
Associate Professor, EMT/Paramedics
Phone: 541-440-7680

Roger Kennedy - Instructor

Roger KennedyRoger Kennedy believes the difference he makes daily on the Umpqua Community College campus comes from the fact that he is educating future EMS providers for our local communities. He knows he has a hand in keeping the community safe and healthy as UCC’s EMT-Paramedic Instructor and Program Coordinator. He is also a current first responder and EMT, so his practical skills and knowledge really make a difference for the students he teaches, especially those that graduate and go on to pursue EMS as a career. Roger tells students, “Make mistakes during your education so that you can learn from them and not make them when caring for a patient.”

Roger, like many instructors at UCC, brings on-the-job talents to his teaching role. Roger’s UCC experience began when he became interested in helping out with labs in the paramedic class. “I previously had students riding on the ambulance with me for their internship,” he says, “and enjoyed teaching the students and assisting them in becoming paramedics.”

The success he’s had at UCC, Roger modestly says, can be credited back to the Dean of Career and Technical Education, Jesse Morrow, and Joel King, Fire Science Coordinator and EMS Clinical Coordinator. “I came into my position at UCC without previous knowledge of not only how to teach, but also how to successfully run a program. Without their guidance and dedication, the EMS Program would not be where it is today.”

When asked why pursuing an education was so important to Roger, he answered much the same way as he does when sharing practical advice with those in his class. “Throughout my career, in order to advance, pursuing education has been important to me. We never know what the future has in store and, without an education, the doors to success are limited. It was also a goal of mine to be the first in my family to achieve a college degree.”

Photo: Roger Kennedy (Left) Credit: UCC Staff

Roger Kennedy - Contact
Associate Professor, EMT/Paramedics
Phone: 541-440-7680