AUSTIN, Texas - Texas EMS agencies are facing a workforce crisis.
"I have 10 paramedic openings and 10 basic EMTs openings just in this market," said Rusty Wood, director of operations for the Acadian Ambulance Service Central Texas Division. "It does mean fatigue and it does mean a lot of overtime."
Acadian Ambulance Service, a private company that serves Austin and surrounding areas, is hoping to address that crisis with a new program. "It is an earn-while-you-learn program," said Wood. "We basically onboard them as an employee."
The EMT Accelerated Program is seven weeks, Monday through Friday, instead of the traditional three months of night courses. The seven weeks encompass the necessary hospital rotations and ambulance ride time. Once the course is completed, students must pass the National Registry EMT exam.
While ATCEMS focuses on responding to accidents and 911 calls, the focus of Acadian Ambulance is typically non-emergency situations, like transporting patients between hospitals.
Becoming a certified EMT is a prerequisite to becoming a paramedic. Acadian’s next EMT Accelerated Program begins later this month in Bastrop, and the deadline to apply is April 10.
To apply or learn more, click here.