EMS Officials Working With Technical College System to Fill EMT Jobs

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)- Agencies from around the state made their way to Columbia to discuss how to raise the number of emergency medical technicians.

“We have a shortage in South Carolina. People tend to be educate in South Carolina, become EMTs in South Carolina, and then not stick around. We have a decline every single year in the amount of paramedics that we have in the state,” DHEC EMS Bureau Chief Robert Wronski. “This year we have seen a 1.2 percent decrease in the amount of credentialed paramedics that we have in the state.”

EMS organizations were joined by Apprenticeship Carolina, a division of The South Carolina Technical College system that helps up-and-comers develop in the working world.

“We actually hear a lot about workforce gaps in manufacturing, information technology and other industries. To be honest, this one that we had not thought about. To be honest, this one that we had not thought about. This is why we are here today.”said senior apprenticeship consultant Carla Whitlock.

The agencies discussed how to bridge the skill gap through apprenticeships and accredited courses. Those working with newcomers say getting young people involved early is imperative to turning this issue around.

“For the first time, I have two apprentices that started in August with our agency and will continue with our agency through next summer and hopefully will make a career with us so we have begun this program in the Charleston area and I am very please to be apart of it,” said Doug Warren, Director of Dorchester EMS.

32 counties are participating in the youth apprenticeship program so far. You can learn more about the program by visiting Apprenticeship Carolina’s website.

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