Community Futures Peace Liard has requested the City of Fort St. John for a letter of support for a funding application they’re submitting to the province’s Community Workforce Response Grant program.
The funding will be used for 16 local students to get their licenses as a primary care paramedics.
“There is an incredible demand for trained paramedics in this province. Between the pandemic, the ongoing opioid crisis, and extreme weather events, paramedic resources are beyond capacity,” explained Community Futures in its Nov. 15 letter.
“While the provincial government is adding new paramedic jobs across the province, the reality is that there are only three training agencies to train the students to fill these spots,” they added.
“One is a public post secondary with a fixed number of seats, another is a smaller private training agency located on the north shore that has not undertaken any significant growth in the last several years, and we are the third.”
It’s the third intake under the Northeast Primary Care Paramedic Training program, with Columbia Paramedic Academy providing the training, and will start in February 2024. A total of 24 students will be employed with BC Emergency Health Services.
The program would be offered as both full-time and part-time, to better fits the needs and schedules of students. The program itself is an approved licensing board.
“There is a significant amount to learn in a relatively short period of time and we are willing to support students to be successful, whether that be through additional coaching, extra simulation sessions or something that is specific to their own learning style and training needs,” noted Community Futures.
Eight students are already confirmed in the Fort St John, and Northeast surrounding area, with another eight expected by December, they added – the max class size is 16.
Community Futures further noted that the average, median, and common age of applicants to their programs since January 2020 is 28, 26, and 22.
By Tom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Nov 27, 2023 at 14:36