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Explore Health & Public Safety

Do you like to care for others, solve problems, work in a team, help people improve their lives? If you feel a call to help others, the Health & Public Safety pathway is for you. Southwestern has robust health and medical programs that serve the needs of our community – Nursing, Dental, and Paramedic to name a few. You can also serve your community through our Fire Science or Criminal Justice programs. Strong leaders are encouraged to apply.

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Instructor Highlight: Anthony Gantenbein

"A career in public safety is a privilege. It takes a special kind of person to be able to bear witness to some of the best and worst days of peoples lives. It's the best field in the world. There is nothing that compares to helping your neighbors, friends, and family for a living."

Assistant Professor of Paramedicine, Anthony Gantenbein began his Emergency Services and EMS career in 2012 at the National Outdoor Leadership School. This experience immersed Anthony in the EMS world for the first time through completing a rigorous accelerated EMT and Wilderness EMT program. This developed into a fruitful career that truly began locally, in Coos County. Anthony has volunteered at several different departments in Coos County as a firefighter/EMT. Subsequently, he completed his associate degree in Paramedicine here at Southwestern. During his time with Coos County emergency services, Anthony earned many awards including Firefighter of the Year with the Charleston Fire department and Paramedic of the Year with Bay Cities Ambulance. 

Anthony is now the lead EMS faculty member at Southwestern. He also remains employed as a night shift paramedic at Bay Cities Ambulance, and is finishing his bachelor’s degree in Emergency Medical Care. Anthony’s career at SWOCC began in 2015 when he was hired to manage equipment for the EMS department. Anthony advanced to a higher level of responsibility each year until he took over the Paramedic program in 2019. He is also one of only 500 people in the world to be certified as both a Critical Care Paramedic and Flight Paramedic through the International Board of Specialty Certification.