Due to the staffing shortages emergency medical services are feeling, a program has been created in Rochester called “Earn While You Learn” and offers individuals the opportunity to become EMS certified while earning a paycheck.
Rochester residents are able to apply for the 11-week course free of charge, which is good for those who might not be able to afford the curriculum at a community college.
While some find the program to be positive, others see it as a deterrent for the field.
Tom Kirchoff, the Irondequoit Ambulance Chief, says the issues are the lack of funding for the EMS workers currently employed.
While calls and operation costs have gone up, wages have stayed the same.
Kirchoff urges the community to call on elected representatives to advocate for funding for the agencies that need it.
Application for the “Earn While You Learn” program are due by July 16 and the program will begin mid-summer.
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