Plans are moving forward for an agreement that would provide Livingston County’s Emergency Medical Services with a paramedic education program.

EMS Director Jeff Boyd says paramedic recruitment and retention is a national issue in the EMS industry, but an issue that can be solved by establishing programs that keep local talent in the community. EMS has a need for a paramedic program, however there currently is not one available within the county, which has led to a proposed agreement with Huron Valley Ambulance/Emergent Health Partners to provide one virtually.

Boyd says the partnership will allow EMS to host a paramedic class once a week at the Public Safety Complex in Howell through the distance learning program led by Huron Valley Ambulance. Livingston County EMS will provide one state licensed instructor coordinator onsite for the class and in exchange, 50% of the tuition charged to class participants will be returned to EMS to cover the costs of the instructor’s time.

A resolution authorizing the agreement recently came before a county subcommittee and received approval for recommendation. The resolution must be approved by the county’s Board of Commissioners at their November 19th meeting.

The State of Michigan requires a special accreditation for those teaching a paramedic program. Boyd says it would be too costly and inefficient for EMS to become accredited, especially when they can utilize Huron Valley’s virtual pilot program. Boyd adds the class will serve as a natural transition from the high school EMT class for students seeking a lifelong career in EMS. The paramedic program is said to have one of the highest pass rates in the state. Students have already registered for the 13 month-long class, which begins the first week of January. (DK)