Jan. 21—The city of Jacksonville announced Friday the receipt of $31,800 to send four fire department staff to paramedic school. The funding was awarded by the Texas Department of State Health Services Regional Advisory Council from a 21.7 million dollar allocation from Texas Senate Bill 8 for EMS Recruitment and Retention.
The EMS Recruitment and Retention Program was created to address the EMS staffing challenges faced across the State. It aims to increase the EMS workforce by up to 2,500 certified personnel, with priority given to rural areas.
The Jacksonville Fire Department is staffed with dual certified firefighters and EMS first responders. The minimum certification for our staff is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). EMTs provide life-saving care to patients at the scene of an emergency and during transportation in an ambulance en route to a hospital. EMTs are qualified to assess critical illnesses and injuries, provide first aid treatment, and perform basic life-saving health care. The department strives to fully staff the city with folks who have the highest training and can provide the best care to our citizens. For this reason, we work to train and certify our staff as paramedics. Paramedics are more highly trained EMTs capable of more advanced medical procedures such as providing oral and intravenous medication, monitoring electrocardiograms (EKG), and performing tracheotomies.
This grant will provide tuition, books, and the initial testing fees for the four remaining
firefighter/EMTs who have not yet received a paramedic certification.
"The city of Jacksonville's core beliefs include five statements, two of which are continuous incremental improvement and collaboration leads to progress. The award of this grant embodies the essence of both of those statements," EMS Coordinator Alicia Whetsell said. "It is an exciting time here at the Jacksonville Fire Department and I am happy to have played a part in securing this award."
The Jacksonville Fire Department is looking for additional members to join the team. Any certified firefighter, EMT, or paramedic is encouraged to apply.
The starting yearly wage for a fully certified firefighter/paramedic is $48,680 and includes employer paid insurance, 11 paid holidays, paid vacation, City-matched 2:1 retirement, and more with staff housed in individual sleeping quarters in our brand-new state-of-the-art facility.
To apply, visit JacksonvilleTX.orr/Jobs.