Vote for a great cause

Help innovative EMS program receive $25K in grant funding

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

Art Hsieh, MA, NRP teaches in Northern California at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. An EMS provider since 1982, Art has served as a line medic, supervisor 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 writer, author of "EMT Exam for Dummies," has presented at conferences nationwide and continues to provide direct patient care regularly. Art is a member of the EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board. Contact Art at and connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

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