In an effort to ‘grow local paramedics’, Bullitt County Emergency Management Services is partnering with Bullitt County Public Schools and Jefferson Community and Technical College to offer tuition-free EMT classes to interested high school seniors.
The six-hour dual credit EMT Program will be held Fridays from 8:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. during the 2020-2021 school year at the JCTC Bullitt County Campus on Buffalo Run Road in Shepherdsville.
The program will be the only one of its kind in Kentucky.
Out of over 110 respondents to a survey, 45 seniors attended a Zoom orientation meeting.
A total of 20 students were interviewed. Here is the first cohort.
Bullitt Central High School students are Madeline Bassett, Sydney Key, Ally Mccaslin, Brandi Norris, Hunter Whitlock and Sommer Yaekle.
Bullitt East High School students are Savannah Childress, Trinity Cissell, Madison Gauthier, Miles Higgs, Haley Masden, Gary Mercer III and Johnathon Peer.
North Bullitt High School students are Abby Ferrell, Kyndal Helton, Kirstin Lohden, Noah Mcclellan, Sarah Shockley, Hope Sparks and Caitlin Velasquez
JCTC’s Kimberly Boggs, Site Director of the Bullitt County Campus, said these youth clearly stood out as the “best of the best.”
Bullitt County Area Technology Center Principal Darrell Vincent was pleased the students represent a “quality split among all three high schools and all parts of the county.”
District Director of College and Career Readiness/Innovative Programs Dr. Lee Barger said the program was developed to help meet our local workforce needs.
“BCPS is excited and honored to partner with both Bullitt County Emergency Services and Jefferson College to make this opportunity happen,” he said.
Bullitt County EMS Director Kenny Hardin said the career pathway is a good fit and lauded the professional partnership.
“Í do not envision this field ever going away, thus, we need high quality employees and what better way than to invest in local students, train them well and hire them with the proper compensation so they will not be tempted elsewhere by a higher paying position,” he said.
Hardin said Bullitt County Judge/Executive Jerry Summers and Bullitt Fiscal Court are strong advocates of the program.
“Judge Summers and the magistrates know the need exists to hire and retain good people,” Hardin said. “They are looking forward to seeing the program reap successful benefits.”
Hardin said an ambulance has been secured by Steve Hornback. The vehicle and various course materials will be donated as part of the program.
Current EMT Mike Will is the course instructor. He said students will be riding on actual ambulance runs as part of their class requirements.
“They will see what life as a paramedic is like,” he said.
Students will not encounter homicides or suicides. Some may even decide that the career pathway is not for them.
“It’s a rewarding career but not for everyone due to the emotions and stress paramedics encounter,” Will noted. “You remember the times that really made a difference in a family’s life and cope as best you can with the inevitable trauma.”
Boggs hopes these students will see a clear pathway into the JCTC paramedic program, once they graduate.
“We want these students to be ambassadors with their classmates, encouraging them to seek out other technical opportunities being offered as dual credit,” she said. “One of the primary catalyst in student recruitment for technical programs is word of mouth along with free tuition provided by the Work Ready Scholarship offered by the state.”
Superintendent Dr. Jesse Bacon said this program is a perfect example of Board of Education alignment and district aspirations.
“This is the kind of experience we need to provide for our kids to become leaders,” he said. “Dr. Barger and Mr. Vincent knew the need in our community and worked hard in collaboration with EMS and JCTC. I hope other businesses work with us to mine our talented students for their recruitment.”
The Bullitt County Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the program Friday, Aug. 21st at 11:30 a.m. at the JCTC Bullitt County Campus.