Our History






In 1969, Dr. Walter Graf shared with Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn his unique idea of having County firemen trained for a “coronary unit on wheels.”  In January of 1970, the Board of Supervisors approved two pilot studies on the training and use of Mobile Intensive Care Paramedics.

Supervisor Hahn also enlisted the aid of Hawthorne Senator James Wedworth and Lawndale Assemblyman Larry Townsend who authored the Wedworth-Townsend Paramedic Act of 1970. Paramedic training in California became possible when Governor Ronald Reagan signed the historic act on July 15, 1970.  In August, Paramedic Training in California is initiated at Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital under the direction of Dr. Walter S. Graf.

At UCLA in the late 1970s, through the Department of Community Safety's Emergency Medical Services, campus EMS providers were being educated to provide the best patient care possible.  Campus police officers were receiving their initial EMT Training at UCLA.

This was the backdrop for what was to become the Center.  The idea was to bring together great educators and great ideas to deliver education, research, and system development in an academic medical center for the still relatively new field of prehospital care.


The idea and development of a center dedicated to prehospital education and research was born from the minds and efforts of our founders: Mr. David Caponero, Dr. Baxter Larmon, Dr. Steve Rottman, Mr. Tom Manix and Mr. Todd LeGassick. We gratefully acknowledge the many other men and women who through their work inspired what eventually became the UCLA Center for Prehospital Care, including John Barber, Charles “Chuck” McElroy, M.D., Dr. Marshall Morgan, Raymond Schultze, M.D., and Don “Smitty” Smith.


The UCLA Center for Prehospital Care (CPC) was born out of the formal agreement between the UCLA Emergency Medicine Center and the Department of Community Safety’s Emergency Medical Services.

The goal for the new organization included the continued primary and secondary education of campus EMS providers and a quality assurance program started in the 1970s and designed to maintain an optimal patient care delivery system.  Training included the initial EMT Training for police officers, campus security officers, parking enforcement officers, and dispatchers; CPR training as part of the American Heart Association, and First Aid and First Responder courses; and continuing education training programs.  

This agreement included a commitment that the UCLA Center for Prehospital Care would be developed at little or no cost to the University and should ultimately become self-supporting.


Jeff Pollakoff joins CPC as the Center's first full-time employee.


The Prehospital Care Research Forum (PCRF) is established to promote, educate, and disseminate prehospital research.


The Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital Paramedic School and UCLA Center for Prehospital Care join forces to continue the UCLA-Daniel Freeman Paramedic Program (first established in 1970).


Lyn Riley joins CPC to establish and develop the Fire Department & Law Enforcement Quality Improvement and Continuing Education division.


First Prehospital Trauma Life Support course offered at UCLA in conjunction with the National Association of EMT Educators with Heather Davis as the new State PHTLS Coordinator.  Students included UCLA, LAFD, LACoFD, Pasadena FD, and Long Beach FD. 


CPC is moved from the auspices of the UCLA Medical Center to a new home: the David Geffen School of Medicine – Emergency Medicine.

The Paramedic Program celebrates its 35th Anniversary.


Memorial celebration held to honor Mitch Sekine, awarded to our Paramedic Education Program alumni.


Memorial celebration held to honor our Bill Slack.  Celebration attended by countless family members, friends, co-workers, and organizations.  UCLA’s Chancellor’s Office honors Bill Slack by lowering the flag at Pauley Pavilion to half-mast on the morning of October 2nd. Today we offer scholarship programs in memory of both Mitch Sekine and Bill Slack.

Dr. Baxter Larmon appointed to the U.S. Department of Transportation's newly established National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council (NEMSAC).


James O. Page is regarded as the “father of modern EMS.” He was a supporter of the Prehospital Care Research Forum and a friend, colleague, and mentor to many in EMS. A collection of his works, research, and presentations debuted at UCLA Biomedical Library.

Over 60 UCLA CPC staff, faculty, students, and alumni volunteer at first “Stadium to the Sea” LA Marathon.

Dr. Walter S. Graf, founder of the Daniel Freeman Paramedic Program (now the UCLA Paramedic Education Program), honored at “Pioneers of Paramedicine” gala event held in Los Angeles, California.

The UCLA Paramedic Education Program celebrates its 40th Anniversary.

First UCLA EMT course offered at USC.


The Center celebrated its 25th year of service to the community.


The Center launched its first online/hybrid EMT course.


The Center launched the first part-time/hybrid online Paramedic program in southern California.

The Center and the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services co-developed the first annual EMS Update program online, serving nearly 5,000 providers.