- The Grand Chute Fire Department started a program to get their team members paramedic certified while they’re already on the clock.
- Paramedic shortages are affecting every neighborhood. This program combats that.
- The Town of Grand Chute and Fox Valley Technical School partnership has allowed the firefighters to get certified for a low cost.
(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)
Last month I told you about changes coming to Appleton's paramedic services, and that’s when I learned that Grand Chute Fire has started a program of their own to certify their firefighters as paramedics, and I wanted to let you know about it. I’m your Appleton neighborhood reporter Olivia Acree with more on this program and what the fire department has to say about it.
When the bell rings at the Grand Chute fire department, class is dismissed, and it’s time to respond to a call.
On the lesson plan is paramedic training.
“In house paramedic class and training for our members,” said Denzien.
That’s fire chief Steve Denzien. He started an in-house paramedic training program.
“We're seeing people who are coming in with less, less certifications and licensures,” said Denzien.
Coupled with a nationwide paramedic shortage, they're looking to attract more people to the job.
Cody Porter is one of three paramedics in training.
“If we weren't able to do this, the time commitment is pretty extraordinary,” said Porter.
He said being back in the classroom has been an adjustment.
“Getting back into the routine of going to school and studying. But being able to do it on shift, it's paramount to our success. We'll go to class during the day, and then at night we'll sit in here and we'll study together,” said Porter.
They want the highest quality of care for the community and the department staffed with paramedics at all times.
But Porter is looking forward to being able to provide that care personally.
“There's sometimes as an EMT basic you know that you can do more, but you might not have the education or the skill,” said Porter.
“Having those highly skilled and trained people available for any type of emergency, that's what I want for me and my family,” said Denzien.
Chief Denzien told me that traditionally, the combined training cost would be about $50,000, but through the town and Fox Valley Tech partnership, they're only paying about $6,500.
This class of paramedics will graduate in May, but Grand Chute fire is looking to add even more spots in class next August.
In Grand Chute, Olivia Acree NBC 26.