NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) — Every ambulance at American Ambulance Service in Norwich is set up exactly the same.
That’s one of many things new Emergency Medical Technicians or EMTs are taught when they begin their training.
Starting Thursday, American Ambulance is accepting applications for its new Community Emergency Responder Academy. It’s a seven-week course at no cost. In fact, those accepted will get training pay while they learn.
“The end goal is to have them become full time employees within American Ambulance,” said company Vice President Greg Allard.
He says before the pandemic there was a need for EMTs and the need grew as some left because of the pandemic.
“It’s more apparent now and we felt we need to do something to bridge that gap,” said Allard.
They’ve been training EMTs and paramedics for years but this is the first time they’re offering this free ride. Applicants need to be 18 years old, have a good driving record and pass a drug test.
“When you’re transporting, they’ll do things like monitor vital signs, blood pressure, pulse, respirations,” said Robert Rautio, Director of Operations for American Ambulance Service.
They also need to be able to handle emergency situations.
“EMTs do bleeding control, that’s one of their major functions,” said Rautio.
Many say there’s a certain amount of satisfaction which comes with the job.
On one hand, they can save lives. On the other hand, they can also make a difference in someone’s life, especially with patients who they often transport from one facility to another. That can be once or a few times a week.
“You really develop relationships with those people and being able to develop a human connection is also one of the greatest rewards of this entire job,” said Rautio.
He is second generation at American Ambulance.
Applications are being accepted through August 13 and classes begin September 13.