West Alabama first responder in dire need of EMTs

NorthStar Ambulance in west Alabama has a little bit of an emergency of its own. The first...
NorthStar Ambulance in west Alabama has a little bit of an emergency of its own. The first responder is short of employees, real short by more than 20.(WILX)
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 4:07 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - NorthStar Ambulance in west Alabama has a little bit of an emergency of its own. The first responder is short of employees, real short by more than 20.

NorthStar says it needs at least 15 people to become EMTs, and to help them to do just that, the company is offering a deal.

The ‘Earn While You Learn EMT’ program begins on August 15, an opportunity to make $12.50 an hour while you study to become newest member of the team.

“It normally takes about three months to become an EMT,” said Edgar Calloway.

Edgar Calloway is the company’s operations manager.

“‘We’re going to do an accelerated program Monday through Friday, 8 [a.m.] to 5 [p.m.] and we’re going to do it all week long and get them through about half the time,” said Calloway.

NorthStar serves six counties in west Alabama, a staff with around 400. NorthStar is still feeling the pain of COVID which is why the company is gearing up for an aggressive recruiting campaign.

“During [COVID] we lost a pretty substantial number of employees due to illness, the issues they faced everyday so we’re trying to recover some of our employee base,” Calloway said.

Once on board, employees will undergo an eight week course. Assuming applicants pass all the necessary requirements the pay will jump to $15 an hour. Calloway admitted this job is not for everyone.

“You have to want to do this job to do it. It’s very critical. This job requires you take care of sick people,” he said.

NorthStar’s job recruitment campaign is off to a promising start. Seven of the 15 needed have already signed up.

On August 8th, NorthStar will host a meeting for anyone interested in possibly becoming an EMT. That meeting starts 3 p.m. and ends at 5 p.m.

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