American National University

Cyrus Hess - Paramedic Program Director - Difference Maker

Difference Maker Cyrus Hess is the director of the paramedic program at the Pikeville Campus of American National University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Alice Lloyd College and has worked in the EMS industry since 1997. He started school to become an EMT in 1997; went on to become a Kentucky licensed Paramedic in 1999; and became certified as a Critical Care Paramedic in 2004. He is also a Kentucky certified fire fighter. Cyrus is a member of the National Association of EMS Educators, and he has been certified as a Level III Instructor/Evaluator since 2000. Before becoming the paramedic program director, he taught in the medical assisting program at ANU for three years.

“I have some friends that worked for Accu-Care Ambulance Service in the early 90’s. They invited me out to ride with the ambulance crew one weekend. I fell in love with helping people and decided that I wanted to be an EMT. Once I was an EMT, I decided I wanted to do more to help those that I had been responding to and went on to become a paramedic. To further my advancement, I decided to become a Critical Care Paramedic.”

“I get to bring real-life experience to the classroom. This helps bridge the gap between the field and classroom.”

“I was a Paramedic Supervisor for DHP Ambulance Service in Pike County. While there, I got involved with the Healthy Fun Fair at the Pikeville Campus. I have coordinated the mock disaster since the beginning of the fair. As I got to know [campus director] Tammy Riley, we spoke of my teaching experience, and she said there was an opening at the college. I have been enjoying teaching at the college since then.”

“I still work part time for Appalachian First Response Ambulance Service. I get to bring real-life experience to the classroom. This helps bridge the gap between the field and classroom. The greatest reward as a teacher is seeing the proverbial light come on when the student understands the material being taught. The discussions in the classroom become much more in-depth when this happens.”

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