April 28, 2022 – Martin Amoah’s journey to Santa Fe College covered 5,500 miles and a number of hurdles along the way. After serving as an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician with the National Ambulance Service (NAS) of Ghana for more than ten years, Martin wanted to take his knowledge, skills and abilities to the next level. He will reach his goal at the end of the Summer-2022 semester, thanks to his hard work and a partnership between the NAS, the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Florida, and the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program at SF. Martin started the one-year paramedic certificate program at SF’s Institute of Public Safety (IPS) during the Fall-2021 semester.
“This collaboration is a wonderful example of how emergency medical services are truly a global endeavor—three partners coming together to help raise the standards of prehospital medical care and education in Ghana, while in Gainesville we benefit from the unique perspectives and contributions of international students that help us reflect upon our own experiences and practices,” said Dr. Torben Becker, Chief of Critical Care Medicine at the UF Department of Emergency Medicine. “Martin’s year at Santa Fe College will be amplified in many ways once he returns to Ghana.”
The NAS selected Martin to attend SF because of his excellent track record with the agency, which includes his service as director of only the second EMS training school in Ghana where he has trained hundreds of Emergency Medical Technicians. Martin’s mission to help advance the NAS and prehospital emergency care in Ghana has come with significant sacrifices – leaving behind Ghanaian culture as well as his wife and three young children. “I feel quite fulfilled in the program, which is well-tailored to meet the needs of the Ghanaian prehospital medical care setting,” said Martin. “It has been an extremely positive experience for me, especially meeting and working with people of diverse cultural backgrounds.”
IPS students and staff have been impressed with Martin. “Our paramedic students face ongoing and difficult challenges in the classroom and during their clinical experience with area hospitals and fire-rescue agencies,” said Michael Anderson, EMS Program Director at IPS. “Martin has arisen to the challenges every step of the way. It’s obvious that his experience with the National Ambulance Service of Ghana prepared him well for our paramedic program.”
Still, there was one challenge Martin has faced at SF that IPS staff did not see coming. “Florida weather is similar to Ghana, but the food definitely is not,” said Martin. “Getting accustomed to American food sure has been interesting.”