New program targets need for EMTs in Dayton

A new initiative seeks to combat a shortage of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) across the region by paying job candidates as they go through the training process and become certified.

Many people cannot afford to forgo a paycheck while putting themselves through EMT training, said John Robben, American Medical Response's regional director of Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.

But AMR, a national medical transportation company, is offering to pay people who participate in its first new class in Dayton, expected to begin Jan. 24 of next year.

There are 20 slots open for the first class, and AMR expects to hire about 50 EMTs in the Dayton area next year, Robben said.

“In Dayton, we are looking for good candidates to train today to save a life tomorrow, and we want to pay you to do it,” he said.

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The new initiative will make it much easier to become an EMT, Robben said, and candidates selected for the program are immediately hired as employees and are compensated as they attend AMR’s EMT basic certification course.

After completing the program and obtaining state certification, participants are promoted to EMT basic positions, which come with a pay increase, benefits and a retirement plan, Robben said.

“A person no longer must choose between earning a living and becoming an EMT,” he said. “You can do both.”

AMR employs about 134 workers in the Dayton region. AMR’s training course takes four to six weeks.

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AMR has created “earn while you learn” EMT academies that pay participants as they go through accredited courses and become certified professionals, said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

The initiative has earned national recognition, graduated more than 100 students in another program in Buffalo, New York, and recently launched in one other community in Massachusetts, Whaley said.

AMR’s program will eliminate some of the financial burdens of becoming a licensed EMT at a time when there is a shortage of workers in the field, Whaley said.

“This program will support the Dayton community by creating innovative job growth and career opportunities for first responders,” Whaley said. “We want to get the word out about this great opportunity for our workforce.”

The Dayton Fire Department responds to 911 calls in the city of Dayton, and most surrounding communities handle their own 911 emergency calls for medical services.

In this region, AMR primarily provides inter-facility patient transports between hospitals and medical providers. Premier Health contracts with AMR for these services.

Interested applicants can visit the AMR website at and select the Dayton, Ohio, Careers Section. They also text EMSJOBS to 97211.

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