Aiken hoping apprenticeships will solve shortage of EMTs

AIKEN – Officials with Aiken County and Aiken Technical College are teaming up to focus on what they say is a shortage of EMT paramedics in the field.

The solution? An apprenticeship program for county workers at Aiken Tech.

“There is a shortage of paramedics nationwide, so we are working with Aiken Tech to create a program to not have to rely on the market but to ‘home grow’ our next generation of paramedics,” said Aiken County Assistant Administrator Todd Glover.

Nick Bianco, with Aiken County EMS, says he could currently use about nine more paramedics. He said the department already has about six paramedics on a managerial level and nine that are for response trucks, but “I’d like to have a paramedic a truck,” Mr. Bianco said.

Shirley Von Beck, a program manager for training and business development at Aiken Tech, said the new apprenticeship programs should be started sometime in May.

A full report will be featured in Tuesday's print editions of The Augusta Chronicle.

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