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Vote for a great cause News

January 9, 2013

EMS News in Focus
by Arthur Hsieh

Vote for a great cause

Help innovative EMS program receive $25K in grant funding

By Arthur Hsieh

The EMS Academy located at the Saint Paul Fire Department is one of those rare programs that has re-imagined how we recruit, train and employ EMS providers.

Created by the nationally-recognized EMS educator and speaker David Page, the EMS Academy has created unique opportunities for young students from minority, low income and at-risk backgrounds to train as EMTs and subsequently gain experience working on SPFD interfacility units.

Many challenges confronted Dave and his colleagues as they started the program, but it has achieved much success in a short period of time. Tuition, textbooks, and uniforms are all provided by the Academy, and the students are typically paid an hourly wage.

The EMS Academy also operates an Ambulance Service that provides invaluable work experience to Academy graduates. The Saint Paul community has some of the largest achievement gaps in the country, especially between the city's ethnic groups. Saint Paul is home to many diverse communities, but the emergency medical workforce serving them is almost entirely Caucasian.

In addition to providing jobs for its students, the Academy creates culturally aware and multi-lingual EMTs to better serve the St. Paul Community.

You have the oppportunity to help this wonderful program achieve even greater success. The EMS Academy is one of three finalists for the In-Commons Humphrey Institute Local Government Innovations Award. By voting for the program you can help it receive a $25,000 grant to continue its innovative methods.

Voting is simple; simply go to the In-Commons website and click on the Saint Paul EMS Academy. While $25K doesn't sound like much, it will go a long way toward promoting this vital community resource.

About the author

EMS1 Editorial Advisor Art Hsieh, MA, NREMT-P currently teaches at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. Since 1982, Art has worked as a line medic and chief officer in the private, third service and fire-based EMS. He has directed both primary and EMS continuing education programs. Art is a textbook author, has presented at conferences nationwide, and continues to provide patient care at an EMS service in Northern California. Contact Art at
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Dan White Dan White Thursday, January 10, 2013 6:09:53 PM Wonderful program. But if they only produce cannon fodder (defined as a 2-5 year typical EMS career), HOW DOES IT HELP? What we need to do is create a career path. That would start by cutting supply and increasing demand. Like PA's did. If the Federal government would mandate a BS for EMS, everything would change. Maybe guys like you and me wouldn't even be doing it. But those that could would be paid. Those that might would have a reason.
Anne Castioni Anne Castioni Thursday, January 10, 2013 11:02:59 PM Minnesotans can vote.

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