AMR offers earn while you learn program in NH
After successfully completing the program and obtaining their state certification, participants will be promoted to EMT-B with a pay increase
The New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester
MANCHESTER, N.H. — Amid a national shortage of emergency medical technicians, the region's leading private ambulance service announced Tuesday it will pay 40 residents to train for 12 weeks as full-time EMTs, and pay their test-taking fees.
Through a program called Earn While You Learn, the selected applicants will be hired to attend a full-time EMT training program, which will enable the trainee to become certified at the state level, then work on an ambulance at American Medical Response Inc., said Patrick Pickering, Northeast regional director of AMR. Local residents will be given priority.
"Our commitment to local workforce development and training is an essential part of our success in providing high quality services to the communities and health-care facilities that we serve here in the Granite State," said Pickering.
Katherine Rhoades has been with AMR for four years, starting out as an EMT before becoming a paramedic.
"There's just something special about seeing people on their best days and their worst days, and just being there for them," said Rhoades. "Not very many people can say 'I delivered a baby' or 'I held somebody as they took their last breath, and I was able to make them comfortable and help them through that next step.' Or even for the family members of the patients we deal with, feeling like you provided them a helping hand. You don't get to do that many places."
Participants are hired as employees and compensated while attending AMR's EMT-Basic certification course. Upon successful completion of the program and obtaining their state certification, participants are promoted to EMT-B with a pay increase.
"We have not escaped the pandemic's effect in a number of different ways, and one of those is the lack of people willing to go into the world of emergency medical services," said Chris Stawasz, AMR Northeast Regional Director of Government Affairs. "For about eight to 10 months we had a dry spell where our incoming pipeline of new employees was virtually cut off. This is an attempt and a partnership to rectify that and offer jobs within our community to those who want to be EMTs."
AMR is partnering with four New Hampshire EMS schools to offer multiple classes and locations for the program. The New England EMS Institute in Manchester, NH CPR in Bedford, NH Fire Med in Nashua and Great Brook Academy in Concord are collaborating with AMR to offer the classes.
Manchester Deputy Fire Chief Ryan Cashin said his department is excited for the new initiative.
"We've partnered with AMR for many years and they've provided untold support to us," said Cashin. "We fully support them in this endeavor, as we are trying to focus our recruitment efforts on residents of the city of Manchester and students of the Manchester school district. We really want to identify, educate, and employ city residents moving forward in the Manchester fire department and AMR. We're hoping this partnership will help both of us."
Jason Preston, clinical manager with AMR, said the goal of the new program is to bring in people from the community to serve in areas where they live.
"There's really no other profession out there where you can have as tremendous an impact on people as you do in emergency medical services," said Preston. "Where you can truly go into a situation and truly change it for the better. People are always happy to see you and you can make a big difference in their lives."
This is the first Earn While You Learn program to launch in New Hampshire. Similar programs have also been launched at AMR operations in Alabama, Connecticut, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio and Tennessee.
Since launching the Earn While You Learn Program in Buffalo, N.Y., in 2018, AMR has graduated over 500 EMS professionals.
Applicants take part in a 10- to 12-week program, where they learn the tools of the EMT trade while being paid. To qualify, an applicant must be 18 years of age or older, have a high school diploma or GED, have all required immunizations, and successfully pass background checks.
"Anybody who's considering a career change, anybody who's had a little tickle to do this type of job, we encourage them," said Preston. "All shapes and all sizes. Age doesn't matter, we have employees from 18 up into their 60s."
Interested candidates should apply today on the AMR website. Classes begin in September. Candidates must have a valid and current driver's license and pass a drug screening. To apply, head to the AMR website and sign up at www.amr.net/careers.
(c)2021 The New Hampshire Union Leader