SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno addressed the graduating class of American Medical Response of Springfield’s newly certified EMT candidates Tuesday morning.
The candidates are a part of the Earn While You Learn program which first started in August of 2019 and is designed to make an easier transition for those wanting to become emergency medical professionals. Participants are hired as employees and compensated while attending AMR’s EMT basic certification course.
22News spoke to the program director about how COVID-19 changes the way they teach.
“It’s a lot of medical knowledge, a typical program is about 12 weeks long. If COVID hadn’t happened, this one would have been about 10 weeks long. Because of COVID we had to push things online, so it extended it to about 15 weeks just so we could do all the practical skills but they did a great job,” said Emily Chandler, AMR Program Director and Instructor.
After completing the certification process, participants are promoted to EMT’s and receive a pay increase.
“These are unprecedented and surreal times we find ourselves in where we face a very serious public health challenge from the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. Now more than ever we need dedicated and brave healthcare professionals. I am very proud of the graduates and appreciative of AMR’s continued belief and investment in our Springfield and their partnership working together to not only help mitigate the community spread of this virus but continuing their daily duties of responding to any and all health-related calls,” Mayor Sarno said.