NEEMSI History

The staff of the New England EMS Institute are all practicing Advanced Life Support providers with many years of street and educational experience. Students are well prepared for National Registry testing and careers in Emergency Medical Services. The Institute is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and licensed by the New Hampshire Postsecondary Education Commission.

The New England EMS Institute is part of Elliot Heath System. The Elliot has been serving the community for over 110 years, and has a reputable history of training hospital and pre-hospital patient care providers. Elliot Heath System and the New England EMS Institute have provided EMS educational programs for over 30 years.

In 1998, Elliot Heath System created the New England EMS Institute. The creation of NEEMSI allows us to function as a post-secondary educational facility and expand our educational programs.

In January 2012, the New England EMS Institute moved to its new home at 1050 Holt Avenue. Faced with a need for more space to accommodate our expanding programs, the move offers students ample accessible parking, large classrooms with adjoining lab and practice space, an enlarged multi-media room, student lounge, and administrative offices.

Our Team

Rachel Cornaro, BSProgram Coordinator / Registrar
Rachel Cornaro is originally from Massachusetts but has resided in NH with her family for more than a decade. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Salem State College. She has been involved in healthcare for more than twenty years both pre-hospital and in-hospital settings. As the Program Coordinator she is the face of NEEMSI and enjoys making the students feel welcomed while they are here. In her spare time she can be found at various sporting events for her children. Please contact Rachel with questions about upcoming programs.
Michael Kelley, BSN, RN, NR-P, TCRNProgram Director
Mike Kelley has been involved with EMS since 2003 when he took a first responder class in his freshman year at Norwich University. Mike quickly obtained his EMT and EMT- Intermediate while attending school and was influential in the establishment of Norwich University EMS as a campus sponsored organization. Mike completed his Bachelor’s degree in Nursing in 2009. Mike’s nursing career included emergency department charge nurse, Intensive Care Unit, trauma program management and EMS Coordinator. In 2010 through 2011 Mike deployed with the Army National Guard as a Flight Medic to Bagdad, Iraq, where he and 3 other flight medics covered the greater Baghdad area transporting casualties of combat. Mike has been awarded the Combat Medical Badge and the Air Medal. During his service overseas he enrolled in a Paramedic Program that completed in 2012. While working as a nurse he continued to work as a paramedic per-diem. In 2016, Mike left his full-time nursing career to return to the field and entered the fire service. Mike currently works for the Concord Fire Department as a Firefighter/Paramedic. Mike continues to serve in the Army National Guard as the Executive Officer for an Infantry Brigade Support Medical Company. Mike lives in Candia with his wife Erin and son Kadan. In his time off, Mike enjoys taking Kaden for rides on their side by side, and spending time with family and friends.
Erin Wirths, DO, FAEMSMedical Director
Dr. Wirths grew up in Maine and started her EMS career as an EMT in Old Orchard Beach. She went on to graduate with a B.S. from the University of New England, followed by her medical degree from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. After medical school, she completed residency at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA followed by a fellowship in EMS/Disaster Medicine from SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY. Dr. Wirths is currently board certified in both Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medical Services and a Fellow of the National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP). She began working in the Elliot Emergency Department in November 2019 after moving back home to New England from Fayetteville, NC. She currently lives in Auburn with her husband, two children, and two dogs.
Tracy Powers, BA, NRPClinical Coordinator
Tracy Powers is a 2013 graduate of the NEEMSI Paramedic Program, as well as an adjunct instructor at NEEMSI. Tracy is passionate about teaching new students and passing on her vast knowledge and years of experience. Being in the field for many years starting out as a dispatcher, she has the unique knowledge of both sides of the job. She is a lifelong resident of Derry, NH where she resides with her husband and the love of her life, Sophie…an American Bulldog. Tracy’s passions rest with helping the sick and injured; and more recently teaching and precepting students that are new to Emergency Medical Services. At the very young age of 6, Tracy began playing the drums. Her parents thought this was just a phase. As time went on, Tracy was very dedicated to weekly private drum lessons, marching band, jazz band, performing live and managing local bands. After graduating High School from Pinkerton Academy in Derry, NH, she applied to Berklee College of Music in Boston graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Production and Engineering, with a minor in drums and percussion. You may be familiar with her, as she was also an on-air personality for the radio station ROCK 101 in Manchester, NH. After her radio days, she toured with national recording artists Aerosmith and Kid Rock as a road manager. In 2001, she stepped away from the music industry to take care of her ill father who had been diagnosed with cancer. After his passing, she chose to enter the exciting career of EMS. Tracy has logged many hours as a dispatcher, EMT, Paramedic, Supervisor and continuing education to keep up with her skills and education.
Michael Donoghue Jr., MPA, NRPEMS Educator - Paramedic
Mike Donoghue is a home grown product of New England EMS Institute, graduating in 2015 with his Paramedic Certificate. He has been providing Pre-Hospital for over 9 years in some of the busiest systems that Massachusetts has to offer. Currently, Mike works as a full-time firefighter/paramedic, as well as working for a premier hospital based service. Mike has a true passion for teaching and has been doing so in various roles for the better part of his career. Recently, he graduated from Anna Maria College with his Masters in Public Administration and continues his thirst for knowledge by constantly taking classes to hone his abilities.
Liam Smith, BS, NRP, FP-CEMS Educator - Paramedic
Liam Smith is a father of three wonderful children, and resides in Bow, NH. Liam has his Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Management, and will be continuing on to obtain a Master’s in the near future. He has been working in EMS for the past 15 years, 12 of which have been as a Paramedic. His EMS background includes private services, fire-department based, hospital based and for the past 2 years has been working as a Flight Paramedic. Liam has always been very passionate about EMS and loves teaching others to strive for this same level of patient care.
Patrick McDonagh, MS, NRP, CCP-C, FP-C, RRT-NPS, ACCS, C-NPTEMS Educator - Paramedic
Patrick lives in NH and is the proud father of two amazing daughters. He has been involved with EMS since 2003, and in 2006 graduated from the NEEMSI Paramedic Program. After working in busy 911 systems and seeing the need to have a better understanding of Respiratory Physiology, Patrick returned to school and graduated as a Respiratory Therapist in 2016. Since then, Patrick has been working in both 911 and Critical Care. In addition to a Paramedic Certificate, he also holds a BS in Respiratory Care with a concentration in Advanced Clinical Practice, and a MS in Healthcare Management. In his spare time, Patrick enjoys spending quality time with his family.
Samuel Hochschwender, NRPEMS Educator- EMT/AEMT
Sam Hochschwender was born and raised in New Hampshire. He began his EMS career immediately out of high school in 2016, quickly obtaining his EMT and Advanced EMT. After years of gaining experience on the ambulance as a BLS provider, Sam graduated New England EMS Institute in 2020 with his Paramedic and has since been working as a full-time Firefighter/Paramedic on a seacoast area fire department. Sam has a passion for EMS and strives to share this with others. Sam enjoys spending quality time with his family and enjoying the outdoors.

NEEMSI Paramedic Program Student Peformance (2018)

86.4 %

1st Time Pass Rate for NREMT CBT (Computer Based Test)

100 %

1st Time Pass Rate for NREMT Practical Exam

87.3 %

Overall Retention Rate

100 %

Positive Job Placement