News & Events




Press Release



August 3, 2012

Cowley College paramedic program teaching advanced international course


paramedic programInstructing an intensive two-day, nationally recognized airway management course at Cowley College’s main campus in Arkansas City, 50 paramedic students took part in The Difficult Airway course Aug. 2-3 inside the Brown Center.

Jeff Birrer, The Difficult Airway course director and paramedic in Portland, Oregon, has been leading the course for the past four years. He has been thoroughly impressed by the program at Cowley.

“They are at the front edge of advanced airway teaching in the country,” Birrer said. I have yet to find another program that is as committed as Cowley is. They are bringing the best standard of care to Kansas.”

The advanced international course, which was designed to help individuals learn the important airway algorithms and mnemonics, is also being conducted in England and Australia. Individuals in the course used all of the proven airway devices in small group sessions, while practicing decision making and airway techniques in Code Airway Stations.

Participants then faced challenging patient scenarios such as elevated ICP, pulmonary edema, cardiogenic shock, status asthmaticus, foreign body in the airway, direct airway trauma, and multiple trauma with shock.

The didactic and hands-on training covered RSI (Rapid Sequence Intubation), prediction of the difficult airway, difficult airway evaluation using video laryngoscopes designed for EMS, and surgical airway techniques. The group used robotic mannequins to mimic airway problems.

According to Cowley College MICT instructor Malachi Winters this is the second largest Difficult Airway course ever held. The course is part of the curriculum for students in Cowley College’s Paramedic program.

“We are excited to offer this nationally recognized course,” Winters said. “The students will leave with cutting edge knowledge.”

Along with Winters, Cowley College Lead MICT instructor Deryk Ruddle and Department Chair and Director of EMS Education Chris Cannon, also assisted with the program. As did Cowley College adjunct instructors Lyle Webster and Cindy Branscum.

The Cowley College Paramedic Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical

Services Professions (CoAEMSP).

For more information on the Paramedic program at Cowley College go to