New program will give W. Va. students necessary skills to begin EMT career

Students at a technical high school will be able to enter the workforce directly after graduating

By Bill Frye
The Register-Herald

RALEIGH COUNTY, W.Va. — The Raleigh County Board of Education approved the creation of a new EMT concentration at its Academy of Careers and Technology Tuesday evening.

The program will give students the necessary skills to begin a career in the EMT field, said ACT Director and Principal Charles Pack.

Pack said the school had been looking to create the course for a while now and when an opening was found, the move was made to offer the program to students.

Once students complete the course, they will be able to go into the workforce and get a job at around $29,000 a year starting out. If some graduates of the program opt for more intensive work could even find a job in the EMT field in the mid-$30,000 range, Pack said.

Regional Jan-Care officials had informed Pack that they have the potential to hire all EMT grads that go through the ACT EMT concentration.

“This is a great career opportunity for high school students who want to move directly into the workforce,” Pack said. “They’ll even be able to continue their education while working a quality paying job.”

Pack said that even once a graduate of the EMT program secures a job, opportunities await in the field for more education that would allow them to advance their EMT careers.

The Raleigh County Board of Education unanimously approved the creation of the EMT concentration.

Now, Pack said, they have posted a job listing for a teacher for the course.

“We look forward to cooperating with the local emergency services with this program,” Pack said.

In other business, the BOE heard from Attendance Director Millard Francis and his staff regarding their efforts to boost attendance and prevent students from dropping out.

Truancy interventionsists Kim Lacy and Lisa Fuson presented details about the partnerships and programs they utilize to help students.

With the help of a task force that includes members of the Raleigh County circuit and magistrate courts, adult and juvenile probation officers, the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department, the public defenders office, PRO officers, grad coaches and others, Raleigh County Schools are able to help get students the help they need to stay in school, Lacy said.

Through the system’s truancy diversion process and computer programs like Clarity (which helps identify at-risk students at early stages), the school system was able to start reducing the number of dropouts from 98 in 2014-15 to 80 in 2015-16.

“We hope to continue that trend,” Fuson said.

Clarity even offers strategies to help students get back on track and be successful in school, said Raleigh County Schools Superintendent David Price.

Also, through incentives like awards and giveways, Lacy and Fuson said that students have responded by attempting to miss fewer days to earn awards like gift certificates to local eating establishments, recreation passes to bowling alleys and theaters.

Copyright 2016 The Register-Herald

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