(Phoenix, Ariz., Sept. 22) – Through a customized program designed by Phoenix College’s Emergency Medical Technology/Fire Science Department, 18 Army veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are getting the training they need to become civilian paramedics.
PC’s EMT Department designed the training program for the veterans, who served as medics during their tours of duty.
The students, many of whom served in harm’s way during their service, are using their G.I. Bill benefits and the Army’s tuition assistance program to get the coursework and clinical training they need to become paramedics. Working with PC’s EMT Department, the veterans are participating in a 10-month program designed to provide them with 500 hours of classroom instruction required before moving into the clinical phase of the program.
The program began in April.“We’re delivering the curriculum in a manner that meets their needs in terms of the schedule and resources,” said Scott Crowley, program director of PC’s EMT and EMT Basic programs.
The program also includes an agreement with the Phoenix Fire Department to give the students 250 hours of work experience.Many of the students have already performed duties associated with paramedics during their military service but they need more training to become certified as civilian paramedics. They are already certified as Emergency Medical Technicians in Arizona.
“They are really good at trauma,” said Crowley, referring to the students’ skills. “It’s the medical side we’re working really hard to bridge: heart, renal failures, strokes…They’ve been forward deployed as medics and now they want options and opportunities.”
During the coursework phase, the students take classes at the PC campus on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays as well as one Saturday per month.