Indianapolis is struggling to meet hiring goals for EMTs and paramedics.
The city needs 280 EMTs and paramedics to meet health and safety needs but currently, six paramedic positions are unfilled.
The shortage is an opportunity for high school students, says Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services Chief Charles Miramonti.
A new Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services program will cover the cost of training for a graduate to become an emergency medical technician or paramedic.
“We think if we can go in with high schools, folks who are graduating -- don’t have a college plan in front of them, that we offer a really appealing opportunity down the road,” Miramonti says.
Paramedics have more advanced training than emergency medical technicians, and that expertise is necessary for advanced life support ambulance work.
Miramonti says this cuts an 18-month paramedic training process to a 7-to-8-month process
“We’re going to pay you to go to school," Miramonti says of the accelerated program. "That is your new 40-hour a week job."
He says the hiring requirements are simple.
“We hire folks just strictly based on character and commitment, had no prior EMS training or experience – and then we put them through the EMT program," Miramonti says. "We put them through our academy program. And everybody when they graduate has a part time job if they want it – but most of the folks that have graduated, we’ve offered full-time employment too.
EMTs make between $30,000 - $32,000 to start. Paramedics make between $42,000 and $45,000.