LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Emergency Medical Services has started the application process for a class to train EMT recruits.
However, it's not the first time the free training has been offered. A similar program was offered in 2017.
"We're very excited," LMEMS Maj. Ben Neal said about the new recruit class. "With our current staffing levels, any increase we can have is going to be great."
There are currently 30 EMT vacancies, and after the completion of the class, the department would be fully-staffed with 169 EMTs. LMEMS Maj. Chris Lokits said the new recruit class is expected to bring the department to a fully-staffed level.
To make up for the vacant positions, many EMTs and paramedics have been working more overtime to cover every shift. Lokits said this will also help cut down on the overtime budget.
"It definitely made a dent in our overtime," said Lokits, referring to last year's successful academy. "It allowed us to get our current folks home on time more often, and that's what we're hoping to do with this next academy: to further alleviate the need for that overtime."
Applicants do not need to have previous experience in the field. To be accepted into the academy, applicants will go through a screening process, agility test, written test and interview process.
The department will take a few months to narrow the applications down to 40 recruits. They will then go through a four-month, full-time training academy. Recruits will be paid $13.05 an hour while they are being trained. Metro EMS leaders said this pay rate is competitive and more than what previous recruit classes have been paid.
"There's nothing like really being able to help somebody in their time of need," Neal said. "And being able to start their career, being paid to do so, is an excellent opportunity."
Once training and certification has been completed, the EMTs will be hired full-time at $15.30 an hour, according to the union contract's starting EMT pay.
This academy is managed and run by Louisville Metro EMS. Leaders said that gives the department more control and helps cut costs in the long run.
"It also gives us the opportunity to train them kind of to the Louisville Metro way," Lokits said. "So that once they are certified, they're able to transition to the position on their own relatively quickly."
Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a valid driver’s license, a high school diploma or equivalent and no felony convictions.
The deadline to apply is Jan. 29, 2018. The class will begin in April.
- Louisville Metro EMS investing in more paramedics with its own class this summer
- Metro EMS still short-staffed after new EMTs hit the streets
- Louisville Metro EMS in 'dire' need of new hires
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