KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville-based EMS company has launched a new program to help offset the impact of an ongoing worker shortage.

Recently, Priority Ambulance announced its Priority International EMS workforce initiative. This program gives degreed paramedics from around the world the chance to sharpen their skills and earn an American national registry EMS certification.

The paramedics come to the U.S. and participate in a free eight-week paramedic boot camp, which includes housing assistance, and transportation. Priority Ambulance will even pay for their certification testing. Those who complete the program and earn their certification will be offered a full-time job in the U.S.

The first team of Australian paramedics in the program arrived in East Tennessee on June 5.

“We are excited to be able to welcome our Australian paramedics to the United States as they join the Priority Ambulance family in the U.S.,” said Steve Blackburn, chief operating officer for Priority Ambulance. “Our International EMS Workforce Initiative represents a significant milestone in our mission to provide patient care to our communities. By attracting experienced and highly skilled paramedics from around the world, we can further elevate the quality of emergency medical services we deliver.”

To learn more about the program, click here. It was developed by Priority Ambulance in collaboration with Faithful Guardian Training Center.