EMT trainees get an online option
WILLIAMSTOWN -- Village Ambulance Service is offering emergency medical technician candidates the option of taking basic training classes from the convenience of home.
The emergency transportation firm has partnered with Jones & Bartlett Publishing to offer a new hybrid EMT-Basic program that will allow trainees to complete the classroom coursework online, but require them to do their practical skills and "hands-on" training on-site.
"Certainly hands-on training is crucial, but this is one way to recruit and educate people, and get more people certified who couldn't get to the regular classes otherwise," said Shawn P. Godfrey, Village Ambulance's operations manager.
The new hybrid EMT-Basic program was recently approved by the state Office of Emergency Medical Services.
Godfrey said he was told this is the first EMT training program of its kind in western Massachusetts.
The other local state accredited training institutions that offer traditional classroom and hands-on training at various levels are Village Ambulance, County Ambulance Inc., Lee Ambulance Service, North Adams Ambulance Service Inc., Southern Berkshire Volunteer Ambulance Squad Inc., and Prehospital Emergency Care Educators, which has a program at Williams College.
Although it doesn't offer an online program, County Ambulance President Brian K. Andrews said his institution recently upgraded its digital and video technology to offer more multimedia presentations.
"We've seen an increase in the demand for more education," he said.
Andrews noted that interest in EMT careers has increased since the job market was effected by the economy.
The Village Ambulance course will use Jones & Bartlett Course Manager software through Moodle's Learning Management System to operate the online course.
Four instructor/coordinators will host online discussion boards, live chats and will have the ability to deliver PowerPoint, video, audio and Web-based presentations.
Godfrey said that the hybrid program, like the traditional program, will take about three months or 135 hours to complete.
Students will still have to pass the state EMT exam to become licensed to work.
"We're always looking to recruit, and this will allow us to diversify," Godfrey said.
To learn more about the Village Ambulance hybrid EMT-Basic program, visit: www.villageambulance.com/_mgxroot/page_10812.html, or call Shawn Godfrey at (413) 458-4889.
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