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By David Camphouse
According to Pike County Ambulance Service Administrator Kasey Kendall, there is a severe shortage of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) that is affecting the well-being of communities in Pike County and communities across the country.
“There’s a shortage in Pike County, in Illinois, and around the whole country,” Kendall said. “There’s a huge decrease in the number of people wanting to go into this field. You could say that the pipeline has dried up.”
As a result, Kendall, and other members of the Pike County Ambulance Service staff, are making a concerted effort to make people aware of career opportunities in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) field.
Kendall said that Pike County Ambulance Service has made stops at each of the four Pike County school districts to make students aware of career options in the industry. Kendall reported that students seemed interested in the field as a viable career option.
“Really all the school visits went better than I expected,” Kendall said. “We had some good, tough questions that led me to believe that there were students who were really interested in this as a career option.”
In addition to reaching out to high school age students, Kendall reported that the Pike County Ambulance Service was also seeking EMT candidates from the general public. Toward that end, the service is holding an informational meeting this Saturday, May 14, at 2 p.m. for members of the public interested in being trained to pursue a career as an EMT. The meeting will be held at the ambulance building at 24085 365th Street, Pittsfield.
“It’s an informational session for people interested in our EMT class,” Kendall said.
Kendall said that the EMT class is slated to begin the first week of September, pending state approval of the course.
“It’s a 140 hour class, so it takes about four months,” Kendall said. “It’s two evenings a week and one Saturday a month.”
Kendall encourages a wide range of residents to take part in the class, if they are interested in most any aspect of the healthcare industry as a potential career path.
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“Anyone interested in getting into healthcare should attend the informational session,” Kendall said. “People often use becoming an EMT as an entry into the nursing field, or even if they eventually want to become a doctor. I would encourage anybody interested in the medical field to attend the informational session on Saturday.”
For more information, contact Kendall at 217-285-6336 (ext. 2).