New EMT graduates take advantage of Earn While You Learn program

Published 8:28 am Wednesday, December 21, 2022

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On Monday, Troup County EMS and American Medical Response (AMR) hosted a graduation ceremony for new paramedics and EMTs.

The ceremony was held at Callaway Conference Center and was followed by a luncheon for the graduates and their families.

The ceremony included the first “Earn While You Learn” EMT graduates in Troup County as well as the newest class of AMR paramedics.

The Earn While You Learn program (EWYL) was created by AMR in 2018, to allow interested individuals to learn EMT skills as they work. The EWYL program makes pursuing a career in emergency medical services more accessible by providing tuition and on-the-job training.

According to AMR, successful graduates of the program are guaranteed a full-time position with the company.

Since the program began, AMR has graduated over 1,000 EMS professionals. This year in Georgia alone the program has hired and trained over 60 students through the EWYL program.

Monday’s graduating class featured seven EWYL graduates and seven paramedics, who earned their EMT-B certifications.

Two of the paramedic graduates are from the Troup County Fire Department, who earned their certification through the AMR training.  Troup County Fire Chief Michael Strickland served as the graduation speaker. He offered the new EMTs some tips as they embark on their emergency services careers.

“As I look back on my on my 30-plus years in the fire and EMS industry, I’ve learned a few things over that time,” Strickland said. “Number one, always take care of yourself.”

“If you’re not taking care of yourself mentally and physically, then you’re not going to be able to go out there and effectively treat the people that really need your help,” he said.

Keep learning, Strickland added.

“Always treat every day as an opportunity to learn a new technique, learn a new skill or go back and refresh on some things that maybe you just haven’t done in a while and always seek out training opportunities where you can.”

“Lastly, don’t forget about your family,” he said. “Your families are a lot of your resources. Treat them right. If you’ve had a bad shift, try to decompress a little bit before you go home and take it out on a loved one at home.”

Strickland applauded the efforts of the graduating students and AMR’s efforts to improve their service in Troup County.

“We (Troup County Fire) have a fantastic working relationship with AMR. I just want to continue that,” Strickland said. “Troup County is continuing to grow and AMR is going to be a big part of that.”