In early 2018, we reviewed our staffing levels and determined we were not recruiting enough EMTs to fill the schedule. We had a planning session among the management team on how to recruit qualified candidates for the numbers we required. We already taught voluntary EMT classes so s. the idea of hiring these participants and paying them to go to EMT school was born.
Our goal was to attract, hire and train 50 individuals in the first two classes, have them graduate and be working by year’s end.
Planning & Implementation
The AMR Earn as You Learn program started in September 2018. The class was announced in July 2018 in a partnership with the Mayor of Buffalo, NY. We had a significant social media campaign and the response was overwhelming. More than 150 people applied. Following interviews, we ended up with a day and an evening section. The class sessions ran from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. – 9 a.m., Monday – Thursday. We learned a lot from this class. When we got to the end of the classes, we had a large number of students who failed the skill stations. Following a class review, we felt the reason was we did not designate enough time for skill learning. So, for the next class (January 2019) we extended the hours to 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with Friday being an optional review day. We put a big emphasis in afternoon skill sessions. Next test session we only had one individual fail skills.
The Earn as You Learn Academy runs for 11 weeks. Since our inception, we have had four academies and have graduated more than 100 students. We most recently began our fifth academy this month with 31 students scheduled to graduate in November.
Yes, we achieved our goal. We have taken time after each academy to review pass rates and how long students remained employed. Following our first academy, we had 38 students start the class and 32 are still employed at year one.
The immediate impact was a reduction in the number of open shifts and overtime hours. By having more EMTs to fill regularly scheduled shifts, this reduced the need for callbacks which lessened stress on all employees. The schedule is now full so they can concentrate on taking care of people rather than stressing over open shifts needing to be filled.
With the initial success of this program in Buffalo, we’ve now begun Earn As You Learn academies in Springfield, Mass., St Louis, Mo,, and Dayton, Ohio.
There is no set budget at this time. While there are expenses to pay people to learn, the results once we graduate a class and they fill shifts greatly reduces what we were paying in overtime costs. We feel the initial unbudgeted costs for training were more than covered in reduced over-time pay when these candidates start filling shifts.
Files: 2019 AMBY Earn While you Learn supporting documentation.docx, Academy in class.jpg, Earn While you Learn letter from Maxian.pdf, Earn while you learn to be an Emergency Medical Technician Requisition.pdf, Flyer Sept 2019 class version 2.pdf, Flyer Sept 2019 class version PRIDE.pdf