An article I found from Central Texas College on EMT night classes reminded me of an email I got from audience member Matt. The article is an announcement from the college that EMT night classes will be offered to prepare students to pass the NREMT exam for EMT-basic, or what is just EMT now.
EMT Education Upgrades
I wonder what effect the new, updated educational guidelines have had on students in this program? The reason I ask is because Matt raised the question about the new guidelines increasing cost of EMT training in Pennsylvania. He says that as of 2013, EMT classes in Pennsylvania have increased from 140 hours to 220 hours. Because of this, the price has gone from $450 to over $1000.
This has had many effects on the future volunteer EMTs in the state. Volunteer Fire Departments in the state are discontinuing paying for the EMT classes for their members because of the cost increases. He says this is going to have a long term effect of many less EMT’s. Matt says because Pennsylvania has a lot of country roads, rural areas, and snow, if you need emergency healthcare, you’re probably going to get mostly, if not all, volunteer EMT’s.
Fewer EMTs Due To Increased Standards
The new costs and guidelines will likely decrease the number of EMTs in the volunteer ranks. This could have the worst effect in the poorest, rural areas most commonly served by volunteers. Matt contends that increasing the standards to 220 hours for EMT students is just too much.
Unfortunately, while I appreciate all his comments and proposed effects, I don’t agree with his continued hold on the old educational standards. If we want to advance the profession of EMS to the next level, then we need to increase the educational standards of the professional levels of advancement. This includes EMTs.
We have to keep moving forward despite the roadblocks and hurdles in the way. Ultimately, fewer but better trained EMTs will be an improvement. At least I hope so. What do you think. Shoot me an email to Podmedic@mac.com and share your opinion. I look forward to hearing from you.
Follow-up on the link for this and other news items as well as all of the additional resource links in the show notes for this episode – CPAP EMS Review and Episode 346.