Phoebe donates $30k in scholarship funds to ATC’s EMT program

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 5:45 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Phoebe is donating $30,000 in scholarships to Albany Technical College’s EMT Program. They’re hoping these funds will lead to more paramedics in the area.

Albany Tech Programming Chair Tracie Naylor-Griffin said they’re going to use these funds to help students complete the program, covering things like tuition fees, uniforms, and immunizations.

She said this will be a huge boost to their enrollment where students get hands-on experience and are prepared for the real thing after the course.

Tracie Naylor-Griffin, EMS Program Chair at Albany Technical College
Tracie Naylor-Griffin, EMS Program Chair at Albany Technical College(WALB)

“We teach you how to manage critical emergencies, critical patients we simulate that in the lab so that you can manage the patients that have heart attacks, strokes, motor vehicle collisions any multitude emergencies that we face,” said Tracie Naylor-Griffin.

The course offers basic EMT training up to paramedic training.

“Each one of these is a step up or an increase in responsibility, but it’s also an increase in pay at the paramedic level, the sky is the limit. There are no limitations to what you can do as a paramedic,” said Naylor-Griffin.

Students also get real-world experience with Dougherty County EMS.

Director Sam Allen said this not only benefits the students but the community as well.

Sam Allen, Dougherty County EMS Director
Sam Allen, Dougherty County EMS Director(WALB)

“Southwest Georgia is really at an extreme shortage of paramedics and EMTs. People just are hesitant to get into the field. Now with this scholarship money hopefully it will encourage people to step forward,” said Allen.

Dougherty County has also upped its pay. The starting salary of an EMT with basic training will be $14.68. The salary of a trained paramedic starts at $18.74.

“As students come out or paramedics are looking for employment Dougherty County EMS is hiring, we want the best now we’re paying the best so we can recruit the best,” said Allen.

The push for the scholarships started once administrators learned more than half of the enrolled students had student loans.

Phoebe’s Vice President of Education Dr. Tracy Suber said making an investment in students now may lead to more health care professionals later.

Dr. Tracy Suber, Vice President of Education at Phoebe Putney Health System
Dr. Tracy Suber, Vice President of Education at Phoebe Putney Health System(WALB)

“Oftentimes EMTs and paramedics return to school many go back and get an RN some go to CRNA school. We are looking at a long-term investment to take care of our population and community,” said Suber.

If this shortage and need for EMT paramedics continues, Suber said they may get back with their partners and try and help provide for more students financially.

You can learn more about Dougherty County EMS Jobs and Albany Tech EMT program here.

Students learn from work alongside Dougherty County EMS
Students learn from work alongside Dougherty County EMS(WALB)

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