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Acadian Ambulance fights EMT shortage with accelerated training program

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BATON ROUGE - It's been a difficult year for first responders, yet they continue to provide life-saving care during a pandemic and now grapple with a labor shortage within their industry. 

"We need people quickly. It's not just us, it's everybody," said Justin Cox, with Acadian Ambulance Operations. 

That's why officials are working to get new EMTs and paramedics educated as soon as possible. 

“We took it upon ourselves, budgeted over 5 million dollars just over the next year alone on conducting paramedic classes and EMT classes," Cox said.

Acadian Ambulance's new accelerated training program condenses four months' worth of information into a six-week course. Students attend classes Monday through Friday for nine to 10 hours a day. 

Those who are first starting have the opportunity to be hired on as an employee by Acadian, earning money while they learn. Tuition for classes also costs next to nothing. 

“We have the opportunity to provide scholarships. They basically have their tuition paid for both EMT and paramedics," Cox said.

Officials say the opportunities are limitless once the credentials are earned. 

“It gives them a great foundation, so from an academic standpoint, this is a great stepping stone and at the same time, pay for the other school they’re going to and give them the foundation they need for the credentials to get into other programs," Cox said.

Once graduated, former students will be paid as EMTs or paramedics. 

Click here for more information on how to qualify. 


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