EMS program gets boost by passage of Bond ’C’ in election

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Education > UNM-LA gets $500K from state

The University of New Mexico Los Alamos received some life saving support for its Emergency Medical Services program when voters went to the polls Nov. 4.
Voters across the state were able to do that by voting for the “Bond C” question, which allowed the state to release $140 million in general obligation bonds to help fund some apparently much needed capital improvement projects within the state’s network of special schools tribal schools, colleges and universities.
The question on the ballot was: “Shall the state be authorized to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $140 million to make capital expenditures for certain higher education, special schools and tribal schools capital improvements and acquisitions and provide for a general property tax imposition and levy for the payment of principal of, interest on and expenses incurred in connection with the issuance of the bonds and the collection of the tax as permitted by law?”
The $140 million will be distributed among at least 20 educational institutions across the state. UNM-LA will be receiving a half million dollars of that funding, which will be used to renovate and design a space for its emergency services program.
UNM-LA CEO Wynn Goering made the announcement at a recent UNM-LA Advisory Board meeting.
“We are $500,000 richer than we were on Nov. 3, courtesy of the vote on Bond C,” he said.
Goering was also happy to share with the advisory board that Los Alamos was one of the counties that clearly voted in favor of it. In recent local elections, Los Alamos voters rejected at least two attempts by UNM-LA to raise residents’ property taxes between one and two percent to help pay for the growth of the campus programs and facilities. According to the website of New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran, 57.77 percent of Los Alamos residents voted in favor of the question while 42.23 percent voted against it.
In all, 6,056 residents voted on the question, according to the website.
UNM-LA Advisory Board Chairman Stephen Boerigter was glad to hear the news.
“It’s very good for high education in New Mexico, and it’s exactly what UNM-LA needs to improve its facilities in order to deliver a quality STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) focused education for northern New Mexico,” he said, adding that he was also very happy to see that Los Alamos voters came through this time for the school and voted in favor of the question.
UNM-LA offers an Associate of Science, two-year transfer degree as well as an Associate of Science in Emergency Medical Service degree.
UNM-LA recently started the program, which according to a statement on its website, is specifically tailored toward the emergency medical needs of Los Alamos County as well as surrounding counties. The program meets the 1998 EMT National Standard Curriculum requirements and includes state requirements and nationally-recognized best practices for EMTs.
Completion of the 72 credit hour course qualifies students for the New Mexico and National Registry testing. Program completion also qualifies them for admission to the University of New Mexico’s Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medical Services program.
Goering, who was appointed CEO of UNM-LA a few months ago, sees good things ahead for the school’s emergency services program.
“I was especially pleased to see that Los Alamos County voters supported the measure by a nearly 3-2 margin,” he said. “UNM-Los Alamos’ $500,000 share of the proceeds will underwrite a thorough renovation of the space where we deliver our EMT program. It will cover everything from specialized equipment to structural repairs to the building.”