KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Priority Ambulance is removing the barriers for those interested in becoming an emergency medical technician.
The ambulance service, in partnership with Roane State Community College, is offering the chance to become an EMT for free in eight weeks with a training wage and two-year employment commitment.
The class, beginning in February, comes as the need for EMTs in East Tennessee is rising.
“Priority Ambulance has positions immediately available for these students, and this course is the first stepping stone towards continuing to develop their skills in EMS or entering other areas of the healthcare and public safety field,” Priority Ambulance Professional Development and Accreditation Manager Robyn Asher said. “By providing a free class and a wage for them to complete training full time, we hope to remove all financial barriers towards that goal.”
Priority Ambulance will accept an initial 12 students into its EMT class. More classes are expected, including one in early summer.
Instruction is provided by Priority Ambulance EMS educators. Upon completion of the course and passing the national registry exam, students will be offered a two-year employment commitment with Priority Ambulance.
“Upon passing their exam, our students are immediately able to work on an ambulance making up to $30,000 a year job,” Asher said. “With a company-sponsored paramedic class, they can advance their career to make up to $45,000 a year in a short time. This is a great opportunity.”
Interested individuals can apply online at www.PriorityAmbulanceTN.com/TrainingAcademy.
Applicants must attend one of two, two-to-three-hour mandatory interview sessions. The first is at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30 and the second is at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2. Both are at Priority Ambulance of Tennessee, 910 Callahan Drive, Suite 101.
The coursework for the class will begin on Feb. 17.
Priority Ambulance provides nonemergency medical transportation serving medical facility partners in Knox and Blount counties and is the 911 ambulance partner to Loudon County.
Dennis Rowe, director of government and industry relations for Priority Ambulance, said that the training will be tough, but the outcome is worth it.
“Once they get involved, and see how things are, and meet the people and the patients, then they grow attached to each other, as people who work together. It’s exciting. It’s also very rewarding,” Rowe said.