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QPS Board approves new EMT class aiming to help worker shortage

WGEM News at Ten
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 9:44 PM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - As the national shortage of E-M-Ts continues, the Adams County Ambulance District wants to get more young people interested in the job.

On Wednesday night, the Quincy Public School Board voted to approve a new EMT class at Quincy Area Vocational Technical Center to prepare seniors for the job.

“This has been a systemic problem really dating back many years. and we’re really starting to see here in 2022,” said John Simon, Adams County Ambulance Chief.

Simon said they have been able to maintain normal operations at Adams County Ambulance. They employ around 60 part-time and full-time EMTS and paramedics there.

“There are services across the state and across the country that are reducing the levels of service because they don’t have the staff there. In some cases, they have completely closed the doors on services because they don’t have staff,” Simon said.

Simon wants to get ahead of the issue by creating a pipeline to get young men and women into the career field.

He asked Quincy Public Schools to offer an EMT course for Quincy Area Vocational Technical Center seniors so they can learn about the job, then take the Illinois State EMT license test after they graduate.

They’ll get hands-on experience with professional EMTs and Paramedics.

School Board Member Shelley Arns thinks it’s a good learning opportunity.

“Students are really enjoying the chance to try things out before they graduate high school so they know if it’s an opportunity or a career they want to pursue more once they graduate,” Arns said.

Simon is happy the board approved the class, as it might keep more young people working in the area.

“We can really look at keeping our youth here in Quincy and Adams County, but also getting them good jobs as they graduate high school,” Simon said.

He said the class will likely be a semester long and offered in the spring, but nothing has been finalized.

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