AUSTIN (KXAN) – Amid a nationwide shortage of emergency medical technicians and paramedics, a company seeks to expand certification training here in Austin – and pays participants and offers employment upon completion of the program .
Starting January 10, Acadian Ambulance and the National EMS Academy will be offering an accelerated paramedic training course to help increase the number of ambulance personnel in the greater Austin area. The program, which will run from Monday to Friday for seven to eight weeks, will train between 20 and 30 students wishing to enter the field.
And the demand for emergency workers is increasing in central Texas, said Rusty Wood, operations manager for Acadian Ambulance’s West Texas division. Especially with the increased demand for hospital assistance, more and more paramedics are being pulled from ambulances and in hospital environments, he said.
“The cry for help is coming more and more every day, and all the agencies in Texas are all in the same situation,” he said. “There are only a limited number of people certified to be able to share and leverage. “
Locally, that tension was also felt by city and county-run operations, including Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services. The Austin-Travis County EMS Association is currently negotiating a contract with the City of Austin to increase starting salary as association president Selena Xie said 50 doctors had left. the department this year.
Acadian Ambulance operates in Austin, Pflugerville and Bastrop, having signed a contract with the town of Pflugerville in November. This contract, with the Acadian Ambulance to serve as the city’s official EMS source, begins at midnight on January 1.
“This year, as the clock strikes midnight, our dispatchers will dispatch a different ambulance when someone calls for service,” said Doug Weiss, deputy mayor of Pflugerville city council. “And I expect this to be fully transparent and transparent to our citizens.”
For those interested in Acadian’s EMT trainings, Wood said no basic medical knowledge is needed to apply. Salary is “competitive” in the area, he said, with average pay ranging between $ 40,000 and $ 50,000.
The course includes 160 hours of classroom medical training, as well as 80 hours of professional training and time spent treating patients in ambulances. Upon successful completion of the Acadian Final Exam and the National Registry Exam, course participants will be able to earn certification in Texas.
Specific skills covered include emergency vehicle operations, oxygen administration, bleeding control, and patient assessment.
The central goal of paramedics is to assess patients and assess any potentially fatal injury or illness that may be present, according to the Center for Prehospital Care at the University of California, Los Angeles. They provide basic care, such as CPR, dressing wounds, or treating burns and fractures.
Meanwhile, paramedics need longer and more specialized training in anatomy, cardiology, and allied sciences. Their specialty is the administration of medications, advanced cardiac resuscitation training, the provision of advanced care, and the treatment of life-threatening medical or traumatic injuries.
And for those who wish to advance in a career path in EMS, Acadian offers paramedical training. Once EMT is certified, participants can enroll in an 18-month program to move up the industry ladder.
“It just gives you a better opportunity to absorb all the knowledge,” Wood said. “In addition, it is very important to have first-hand experience of patient care – holding the hand of that loved one, talking to a family member, talking to the patients. You cannot train this in class. That’s right, it has to be based on experience.