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Dakota College at Bottineau students helping fill EMT, paramedic shortages

Paramedic training
Paramedic training(KFYR)
Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 5:34 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. – According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for EMTs and paramedics is growing rapidly and is projected to grow at least 6% over the next decade. An area college is doing its part to meet workforce needs.

Students in Dakota College at Bottineau’s paramedic program may be the next wave of first responders that respond when the public calls 9-1-1.

“Being able to help people and help my community and be able to be out in the world, not be stuck in a hospital. See different patients, different scenarios, different sceneries, is kinda why I went for it,” said Breann Poole, a paramedic student at DCB.

DCB instructor, Wayne Fahy, shares his experiences and skills to better patient care.

“My thought was, ‘If I can teach, if I can share my knowledge of all the things I have learned over the years, I can affect a lot more patients.’ So instead of just me, I have 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50 students out there,” said Fahy.

Students are able to get real-world hands-on skills, preparing them to help fill the need for emergency service workers.

“In general, there’s a huge shortage everywhere. Emergency room nurses, all of EMS, cops, fire department and paramedics and EMTs,” said Britta Hehr, another paramedic student at DCB.

The course offers some peace of mind for emergency services like Community Ambulance, which is having a tough time finding qualified paramedics.

“They do something called capstone, which is basically you are employed to work and you have to be able to work in that role before you can pass that class. We see students every single day. It’s second nature to have someone else with you, we always welcome the extra hands,” said Robert Kientz, Assistant Chief Paramedic with Community Ambulance.

The college is educating the next generation of first responders one semester at a time.

Burnout is one of the biggest factors that can be attributed to shortages of emergency service workers.

Dakota College at Bottineau’s EMT courses are scheduled for every Tuesday and Thursday during the upcoming fall and spring. The paramedic program is four semesters and starts in June.

You can find out more information about the courses here.

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