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West Columbia ambulance company offering paid EMT training

Medshore Ambulance is hoping to recruit more first responders by paying students to take an emergency medical technician course.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Looking to change your career and become a first responder? One West Columbia company will pay people to train for it and guarantees them a job as an emergency medical technician after becoming certified. 

The opportunity offered by Medshore Ambulance aims to recruit more EMTs into emergency medical services.

Matt Hansen is an EMT with Medshore, after taking advantage of the free course over a year ago. He told News19 that the best part about the job is, "helping people.”

Hansen's colleague Aniecia Spence agreed. Both of the first responders decided to take up the new gig during the pandemic. 

“I got paid to go to school and study,” Spence said with a smile.

From providing first aid to patients to transporting them to Prisma Health or the VA Hospital, Spence and Hansen said it’s a rewarding and exciting job. 

“You don’t know what’s gonna happen, every day is different, every patient is different,” Spence said.

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The Medshore EMTs wouldn’t have been able to make the career change if it wasn’t for the free course. They explained that financially, it'd be hard to commit to a program that generally costs $1,800 to $3,000 while also not working. However, Medshore offers it for free and pays students as employees when they start.

What drives the program, which offers a classroom setting and hands-on experience, is the decline of EMTs in the industry. 

“People are not coming into our field like they used to,” said David Hearl, operations manager of Medshore.

Hearl started the free classes a year and a half ago, hoping to recruit more talent.

“Overall, there is a shortage everywhere in the United States, so the more people that become EMTs, the more it’ll help with the shortage,” Hearl said.

Medshore is partnering with Midlands Tech to offer a five-week accelerated course for aspiring EMTs this summer. Hearl said the free opportunity has attracted about 40 new students since it began. Once certified through Medshore, EMTs must work with the company for at least two years. 

The deadline to apply for the upcoming course is June 21 and classes begin July 5. To apply for the course, click here.

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