Starting Jan. 2, 2014, Alstar EMS will be holding a Regional Paramedic Program every Monday and Thursday until Dec. 19, 2014. This class, which will help interested parties become paramedics, will be open to current EMTs who are certified through Dec. 19, 2014.
The class will be taught by a live instructor through a television screen from 6:30-10:30 p.m. at the EMS Training Center on 335 E. Third St. and at Olean Hospital. Students will receive clinical time at the WCA Hospital and at Olean Hospital at 515 Main St., as well as intern with the Alstar EMS Ambulance and TransAm Ambulance. Students will ride with Olean and Salamanca fire departments as they shadow paramedics before running a call themselves.
There is an increase in demand for local paramedics due to the changes in hospital policies. According to Phil Wilson, EMS operations manager for the training center, patients being treated at hospitals will find themselves more likely to be transported to a different hospital which could better help with their needs as opposed to receiving all their medical attention at a single hospital due to hospitals becoming more specialized to receive government funding. There is also increased demands in health care and emergency medical services due to aging baby boomers who will be taking advantage of services.
Wilson said a good paramedic is "the kind of person you want at your side when you are hurting." That they have good integrity, caring, respectful, accountable, empathic and most importantly, have a desire to help their community.
The class is state certified, and applicants can call 664-8319 for an application and information. Applications are due by Nov. 20. Late applications will be considered up to class start date.