The City of Hartford has teamed up with American Medical Response to pay Hartford residents to train to become emergency medical technicians in order to help diversify the first responder workforce.
The “Earn While You Learn” Program, a 10-week academy, covers costs related to obtain EMT certification, pays students while they complete their training and provides job opportunities as soon as they’re certified.
“Oftentimes people may actually have another job or may have family and they can’t necessarily take time away to go learn a new trade, or profession to pay for that education,” Chris Chaplin, regional director for AMR in Northern Connecticut, said. “With this program what we’re saying is, come to us. We are going to educate you. We’re also going to pay you. We’re wrapping that in one.”
Chaplin, who’s been with AMR for 22 years and began his career as an EMT, said that the program wasn’t just created because of a need for EMTs, but with “the intention to diversify our workforce.”
“By bringing more women and people of color into our workforce and working in their own city, we just believe that there’s some investment there,” Chaplin said.
Hartford Mayor Bronin agreed and said that it is important for police, firefighters and first responders to reflect the diversity of the city.
“In addition, we think it’s an important opportunity to create not just jobs, but careers for Hartford residents,” Bronin said.
The Academy, which begins on March 29th, is looking to hire 20-to-25 candidates. Throughout training, students will earn $13 per hour which increases to $22.15 upon certification. Classes will focus on administering medicine, interpreting vital signs, stabilizing fractures and how to treat and properly transport patients to a facility. Following certification, students can have the opportunity to further their education in the field.
“We see that many of our employees who are EMTs and paramedics, also go on and become City of Hartford firefighters, police officers, nurses, physician’s assistants, or doctors in the local hospitals for our community,” Chaplin said. “This is really kind of the first step for people to build a career as far as they’re willing to go.”
Part-time afternoon instruction will be at AMR’s headquarters in West Hartford and will follow CDC social distancing guidelines. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 12th. Interested Hartford residents can apply online or call (860) 241-4171 with any questions.