A Brief History

The start of Defib Academy

Three years into the success of their company Defib This, after hearing; “You guys should really start an EMT and paramedic program” about a thousand times a week, they decided it was time to do just that. So, in 2013 they started Defib Academy. The 10-week Defib Academy EMT training program became so successful, they quickly decided to add a second 10-week program to meet student demand. Eventually, an accelerated 5-week EMTY Training program was added. Classes are held year-round and, are so popular the registrations for Summer programs are frequently full before the end of Spring.

It all started over a dead guy….

Defib Academy was started by the husband-and-wife team, Alex and Aki Williams. Alex and Aki met in a hospital during a “code blue”, Aki was doing CPR and Alex was working the defibrillator. It was love at first chest compression when Alex and Aki locked eyes during the resuscitation. Fast-forward to 20 years of patient care in EMS and Nursing under their belts, and Defib This began to form as an idea in Alex’s mind.  Alex started Defib This, originally named “Emergency Response Training, Inc” in their home’s garage in 2010.

After more than 20 years of EMS and Nursing experience throughout his career as a paramedic and flight nurse, Alex discovered he needed to move away from the bedside. Wanting to remain in the healthcare field and work with his colleagues in the industry, he focused on what he loved most about his career, the education. He decided the best way to continue making use of his decades of experience and knowledge was to educate his peers as well as incoming industry professionals.

Finding its start in Alex & Aki’s garage, in their little rental on California Street in Santa Cruz, they would soon begin renting rooms at the Louden Nelson center, trading CPR classes for missionaries for the use of church auxiliary rooms, and finally a year later growing to open its first storefront on Front street in Downtown Santa Cruz. With just 614 square feet, this tiny space became their resuscitation haven.

In the next year, Aki would leave her flight nurse job at California Shock Trauma Air Rescue, and as a project manager for the onsite healthcare center at Facebook, to come on full time to help Defib This grow exponentially, and finally move into its home on Pacific Avenue where it still remains today!

Our Culture

While we take our jobs seriously, we do not take ourselves seriously. We champion our team’s ability to educate themselves, learn from their wins and losses, and constantly increase the quality of our product.

We strive to educate ourselves on new concepts, and ideas that challenge our old pre-conceived notions. We seek out the newest science. We promote and follow evidence-based techniques, because one of the most dangerous sentences in the world is, “We have always done it that way.”

We strive to create an environment for our students that is fun, engaging, inviting and never stuffy or judgmental. Every member of our staff, from our admins, to instructors to our executive team is encouraged to create a fun environment with rich visual imagery, snacks, hospitality and positive vibes all around.

What is the significance of your logo?

Why the isotope and EMS Star?

At Defib Academy, we blend the science of medicine (Isotope) with the structure of EMS (5-point EMS Star of Life).

The meaning behind the 5-points on the classic EMS Star of life symbol stands for: Detection, Response, Reporting, On-Scene Care, Care in Transit, Transfer to Definitive Care

Our EMS star of Education stands for: Engage, Educate, Enlighten, Empower, Inspire

 We have waged war on stuffy, judgmental educational institutions. Each day, we strive to reclaim education in the name of fun and adventure. We like doing the hard stuff. We look for challenges to conquer. We are quick to start, quick to finish, but never done.

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