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NW-SCC encourages new EMT volunteers

This time of year, people are usually giving a little more thought to others than to themselves. Whether it’s donating to a toy drive, serving at a food pantry or some other method of lending a helping hand, people are largely readier to open their hearts in the spirit of the season.

On the other hand, there are many community helpers who focus on service to their fellow man year-round. Northwest-Shoals Community College wants to encourage more people to take up that mantle of service all year long, to help those in need.

NW-SCC recently announced hopes that a new state program will encourage more volunteers to earn their Emergency Medical Technician certification at the college.

The Volunteer Rescue Student Tuition Reimbursement Program will allow students to be reimbursed for their tuition if they complete their certification and agree to serve with a volunteer rescue squad or volunteer fire department for at least three years.

“I think this will really help area volunteer rescue squads and fire departments that are facing a shortage of volunteers,” said NW-SCC Emergency Medical Services director,Chris DeMorse.

Gov. Kay Ivey signed Act 2018-524, which created this program, into law earlier this year. The next EMT classes begin Jan. 7 at NW-SCC, and there are day and evening classes available, DeMorse said.

“We have several students that began their medical careers taking EMT classes, but they continue on after earning their EMT licenses,” said Mark Simpson, NW-SCC Health Studies Division chairperson.

The EMS program at Northwest-Shoals offers prehospital emergency medical care training that encompasses three levels: Emergency Medical Technician, Advanced EMT and Paramedic. The EMT program can be completed in one semester. Advanced EMT is a one semester class after completing EMT, and paramedic classes are completed in three semesters.

After completion of the EMT course, individuals interested in expanding their training may elect to take the AEMT program or the paramedic program.

NW-SCC also offers continuing education training for licensed professionals and the community.

“I believe this will encourage more people to obtain lifesaving skills that can be used in the community,” DeMorse said.

Anyone interested in participating in the tuition reimbursement program should contact the NW-SCC office at 256-331-5336 for more information and an application for tuition reimbursement.