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Saginaw-based ambulance service comps classes to entice workers

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Luke Roberts
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https://flic.kr/p/4z3JU5

A state and nationwide paramedic shortage have pushed some ambulance services to find unique ways of attracting talent.

Saginaw-based Mobile Medical Response is using state grant funding to give students free EMS and Paramedic training.

Michigan Works pays to put students through EMS courses and then MMR comps paramedic courses.

Lynn Schutter is with MMR. She said it has been hard to attract people because of low wages.

“So at MMR we’ve worked very hard to make investments into the pay, especially at the paramedic level and then offering as many opportunities as we can for training and education to become paramedics and then enticing individuals to stay long term within the industry.”

Schutter said grant funding through Michigan Works covers roughly 13-hundred dollars in EMS classes.

“Once they get licensed, they start working for us on the ambulance and then MMR puts them through paramedic training.”

Schutter said the program is heading into its second year.

“Last year we started with 30 students and we ended up with just under half that actually completed.”

Schutter said students become full-fledged paramedics in about a year. The stipulation is that students need to remain and work for MMR after completing their training.

She said the program is incredibly rigorous but is overall a good deal.