CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — There’s a nationwide shortage of emergency medical technicians and paramedics, but rural communities with smaller populations are being hit the hardest.
However, one local woman is partnering with Coastal Bend College in Alice to help close that gap.
For over four decades, Wendy Greer has worked in the medical field, influencing where she is now in her career. Her role model wasn’t just the town's fire chief or an EMT. It was her father.
"I started as a rural firefighter in high school and got my EMT in between my junior and senior year," Greer said. "This continued on throughout my EMS career. Anything that he did, I did, as well. Not only being in the rural community of farming and ranching, but just kind of growing up with him."
Greer is now the state coordinator for HALO-Flight, an EMS academy. The academy partnered with CBC to give opportunities to those who want to give back to their community in the medical field.
Two years ago, the Texas legislature allocated $21.7 million to help train and recruit EMT's to reduce the state and nationwide shortage. Greer hopes this course will also improve the problem.
"Sometimes its as simple as a lift assist (or) helping a kid with a boo-boo," Greer said. "But it's also helping people at their worst time, like when they have a heart attack. That’s where we can absolutely make a difference, and being trained for that job and being prepared is most important."
The course is offered at CBC located at 704 Coyote Trail in Alice. The deadline to apply is June 28, 2023. Classes start Monday, July 10 and end in December. To accommodate to those that work, classes will be held Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.
CBC was a recipient for the Texas Reskilling and Upskilling grant. With the $265,000 grant, they were able to purchase equipment like the ambulance driving simulator, mannequins and stretchers. This partnership allows Alice to be the first in the rural area to have access to this equipment.
By the end of the course, students will get a course competition certificate, take their national exam and be ready to start their careers and make a difference in many lives.
For more information on what the course offers and what interested students need to have before starting, contact CBC's Continuing Education Support Specialist Taylor Dion at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 361-354-2768. Interested students can also contact Wendy Greer at email@example.com.