MMR offers free classes due to paramedic shortage - WNEM TV 5

MMR offers free classes due to paramedic shortage

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

It is a profession crucial to saving lives, but one that often goes under-served.

A shortage of paramedics has caused problems for emergency services nationwide.

“I was born and raised in Saginaw so I want to do something to help the community,” said Ethan Favara, MMR student.

He is the youngest student in a new, fast-track emergency medical training course being offered by the MMR emergency medical service company.

The seven week course is free thanks to a grant from the state of Michigan.

“I don’t want to be in a lot of college debt. I know a lot of people that struggle with it throughout their whole lives so it’s a really good opportunity for me,” Favara said.

Students even get paid $9 an hour to show up to class.

Jason MacDonald, with MMR, said there is one small catch. Once students complete the program they are expected to continue with their education to become paramedics, which is also free of charge.

“The program requires some commitment and you have to have a desire to serve others, but it’s an opportunity unlike any that I’ve ever seen before,” MacDonald said.

If free tuition wasn’t enough to get students interested, MMR is also boosting their starting wage.

MacDonald said the extreme shortage of paramedics, both locally and nationwide, pushed MMR to increase their pay. He hopes that provides enough incentive for students to stick around for the long run.

“The starting wage for a paramedic coming out of these programs is approaching $16 an hour and that quickly moves up into the mid 20s within 10 years,” MacDonald said.

That is music to Favara’s ears. Without the weight of student debt on his back he said the sky is the limit.

“Maybe eventually go back to school and become a police officer,” Favara said.

For more information on the program click here.

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