By MIKE WILLIAMS
A new agreement between the county and school system may someday lead to an easing of the shortage of emergency medical technicians in Pulaski County.
On Monday night, the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors approved the Emergency Medical Technician Education Services Agreement with the School Board.
County Administrator Jonathan Sweet said the agreement puts in a place a program that will operate much like the School Resource Officers with the employment of an Emergency Medical Technician as an education staff member to “basically educate, certify and facilitate our next generation of emergency service workers – primarily EMTs.”
“This is a super exciting opportunity considering the shortage that is in the industry right now,” Sweet told the supervisors.
“The opportunity provides our students an opportunity for gainful employment, public service and really an opportunity not only to change their lives change, but to save lives with what they do.”
The agreement was approved on a 4-0 vote with Cloyd District Supervisor Chris Stafford abstaining.
“Now that the vote has been taken, Madam Chairman, I would just like to thank this board for approving [the agreement.] It’s very exciting for our students, and I think it’s going to be really beneficial and hopefully a feeder system for the EMS services in our county,” Stafford said.
Draper District Supervisor Dirk Compton commended Sweet on the agreement.
“I’d like to thank Jonathan for setting this up. This is truly turning lemons into lemonade because we not only have a problem with it, [finding enough EMTS] but every county in the state, probably every state in the nation has a problem getting EMTs to work. We’re creating a factory here where we can produce them and hopefully they’ll stay here and work and save our kids from going to some other county or state,” said Compton.
Board Chairman Laura Walters said the EMS program “absolutely has a huge potential.”