Emergency Care Attendant classes offer first step into EMS world

“This is a perfect opportunity to do it and it’s completely free to them,” Koerner said.

Like many states, Texas still faces a shortage of people in emergency medical services.

As a way to help get more to join the field, Acadian Ambulance is offering a short 11-day, entry-level course.

“The more credentialed individuals that we have on the street means that there’s more trucks on the street. We can get to our community a lot faster,” Kristine Koerner, a recruiter for Acadian Ambulance, said.

She said since the pandemic, there has been a nationwide problem with finding people to join the EMS field.

“With the economy the way that it is, I think that it’s going to be a battle that we see for the near future at least,” Koerner said.

In December, KSAT 12 News reported about the Texas legislature setting aside $21.7 million for EMS education and retention as a part of Senate Bill 8 to help combat the shortage.

“We had 19 candidates come in the door ready to go. Of those 19, 15 signed offer letters and have their tuition completely paid for,” Koerner said.

Joey Vela is currently in EMT classes with Acadian from the state funding.

“Not only am I able to work, but able to get the days off to go to class, not have to pay anything out of pocket,” Vela said.

Before the EMT training, Vela took part in Acadian’s Emergency Care Attendant or ECA course.

It’s a paid 11-day class that gets your foot in the door for EMS.

“It’s a building block to the next level of getting your EMT and then after EMT, then your paramedic,” Vela said.

Acadian pays ECA participants hourly and then when you complete the course and want to continue on to EMT class, your EMT training will be paid for as well with a two-year commitment from the trainee.

“If you’re not sure about EMS, you’re kind of on the fence about EMS. This is a great stepping stone into that or just the medical field in general,” Koerner said.

The next ECA class for Acadian starts on May 5th. You’ll need to be registered by mid-April.

To sign up for the program with Acadian Ambulance, email kristine.koerner@acadian.com or by clicking here.

About the Authors

Leigh Waldman is an investigative reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.

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