Sedgwick County EMS hosts EMT Signing Day Dec. 22
(Sedgwick County, Kan.) – In an effort to recognize and celebrate the achievements and choices of our recruits, Sedgwick County EMS (SCEMS) is hosting its first annual EMT Signing Day Wednesday, Dec. 22, from 2-4 p.m. at EMS Building 2 located at 200 W. Murdock, Wichita. This comes after the Sedgwick County Board of County Commissioners approved the initiation of the E2P (EMT to Paramedic) Program that will allow the agency to support currently employed EMTs through completion of paramedic certification.
The goal of E2P Program is to:
- Eliminate the barriers to entry into the field of EMS
- Facilitate the recruitment of individuals that are members of under-represented demographics
- Eliminate the hurdles of time commitment and foregone income of those EMTs who wish to become paramedics
- Improve the reliability of the supply of paramedics committed to SCEMS
“Historically, Sedgwick County EMS has relied on people self-selecting into the EMS profession, obtaining the necessary education on their own time and dime. This is no longer sustainable in the current and foreseeable workforce, and we must now take an active role. This program represents the first time since paramedic training became a college education process in the 1980s that Sedgwick County EMS has been able to employ EMTs while they complete the education requirements,” says Paul Misasi, Deputy Director of Operations.
Paramedic training requires students to first hold an EMT-basic certification, and then consists of an additional 1,800 hours of education plus an associate degree minimum. SCEMS has selected nine EMTs who will begin classes at a program of their choosing in January. SCEMS will pay the tuition and fees of the program, and each recruit paramedic will be paid as a full-time EMT with benefits while they attend classes, labs, clinicals and an internship. After successful certification, they will automatically transition to a full-time paramedic position and pay for a commitment of three years.
SCEMS is optimistic that this program, along with pay-structure improvements at the county, will help remedy the staffing shortage.