Aiken hoping apprenticeships will solve shortage of EMTs

Monday, April 20, 2009 10:21 AM
Last updated 11:02 PM
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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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Tujeez1 04/20/09 - 05:22 pm
Well, I guess the PAY is less

Well, I guess the PAY is less than desirable......Maybe when Paramedics GET the same Respect AND Pay as Nurses, there wont be a shortage anymore. It really is distressing having a Nurse(who can't even run a code BTW) look down their nose at you. Paramedics have to do more than just follow orders...they have to know wether the orders they are given are right for the situation at hand,and if they're wrong, they have to relay the reasons they are wrong back to the Doctor and ask for alternative orders. A nurse CAN do this, but is NOT required to. You wont hear many Nurses admit this....but they are NOT required to know as much as a Paramedic, and they make 2 to 3 times as much. Think about that next time you call for an ambulance. Good Luck filling the shortfall. Most used to use Paramedic as a "stepping stone" job to fund school for a higher-paying carreer. Now, they go LPN and step on up to RN. But the street has a magic all its own.

CWP 04/20/09 - 07:34 pm
It's time for the media to

It's time for the media to pull their head out of the bucket of stupid they've had it shoved in for nearly two years. Aiken county's EMS problems have nothing to do with the lack of qualified people in the area. It is the mass exodus of employees from a failing service due to the lack of competent leadership that has brought the county's paramedic staffing to that of 20 years ago. It is the inability of anyone to take ownership of the problem and fix it. Has anyone noticed more than 30 employees leaving and bothered to ask them why? Take a peek over at Williston Rescue- they are now one of the most experienced services in the state because of the unbearable working conditions at ACEMS. Like most of what comes to the media from the county service, this article is just a manipulation of facts.

dgoo1269 04/20/09 - 09:39 pm
Tujeez, I don't know the

Tujeez, I don't know the nurses that you know, but all the ones I work with and have worked with would "question" a doctor's order if it doesn't look correct, it's our job; you see if I was to give a medicine and it was the wrong medicine, but gave it because the doctor said so, I'd be in a big pile, just like the medics. It would be wise not to cast stones about another profession unless you have earned the degree, taken the boards and worked in the field in general.

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