EMSA Advantage is the service’s first ever in-house EMT training program.
Their first program in Oklahoma City currently has around a dozen people and another dozen currently in Tulsa.
The program is essentially a pipeline where students spend nine weeks in the classroom with zero tuition and out-of-pocket fees.
They then move to field training and eventually after passing a registry test, can work shifts as an EMSA EMT.
As part of EMSA Advantage, those who sign up agree to an 18-month contract with EMSA in exchange for the tuition-free EMT school.
EMSA says this course is needed now, more than ever, because of the pandemic-induced EMT shortage.
"EMS staffing in the last two years has plummeted because of COVID. The numbers are really alarming," said Adam Paluka from EMSA. "We needed to take some initiative on our own."
According to the National Registry of EMT's, in the start of 2020 there was nearly 59,000 first-time certified EMT's. The following year, the number dropped to just over 4,000.
EMSA hopes their new program will help fight those dwindling numbers.
The next EMSA Advantage is planning to start this fall.