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Northeast in need of paramedics

Community Futures hoping to bring in second training course in the new year
paramedics 28.28
With a high demand, the region's Community Futures office is looking at establishing a second paramedic training course if it can get the necessary funding.

Community Futures Peace-Liard is looking to establish a second training course for those wanting to be paramedics in Northeast B.C.

In a recent letter to local municipal councils seeking support, the organization says the program will be taught by a local paramedic both on site and online.

And the one-year course has already proven to be very popular and needed, according to general manager Sue Kenny.

“It all really began with our Community Futures office on Haida Gwaii," Kenny said. "They were approached by a paramedic academy to run a program and the response was overwhelming.”

Kenny said the academy contacted her about this time last year asking to do the same in the northeast.

“At the time they had called me, they already had 10 people from our area signed up. So, of course, we said yes, we’d do that," she said. "We applied to the province and received the funding for 16 paramedics.”

Fourteen students already studying will graduate from the program next month. The second intake, with funding approval, would begin in early January.

"The funding covers all the training for the trainer, the student, and all of their personal costs,” said Kenny. “They come out fully certified and ready to work.”

In fact, all 14 have jobs waiting for them when they graduate, and there’s every indication the next wave of trained paramedics will have just as much demand when they complete the course.

Applications are being done through Community Futures. On site training, Kenny said, would be carried out at Northern Lights College in Dawson Creek.