President Obama announced a new program to give two years of schooling at Community Colleges for free to anyone willing to “Work for it”. In the wake of this announcement it has been decided that all Paramedics will be required to obtain Associate of Science (AS) Degree.
In some parts of the country paramedic programs are embedded into AS programs. In other parts of the country paramedic programs are simply certificates awarded at community colleges. Even in areas that have the paramedic training as part of a degree it is often possible for students to complete classes and take the registry test without completing all credits required for a full AS degree.
William Black the Executive Director of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Workers (NREMW) said this. “We have been pushing to make all paramedics have a college degree but just could not make it happen. The problem was often cited that costs were too much. People got certified as paramedics, yet would be stuck in college taking useless history and social science classes racking up more student debt.”
According to statistics at the NREMW the average paramedic makes less than $15 an hour. Thus there is an incentive for EMS students to just get the lower cost paramedic certification and “job out” versus completing classes to earn a full degree.
“No one wanted to be the person to force kids to get a piece of paper they would not earn enough salary to pay for. Now that Obama is going to make that paper free, we are going to make everyone have it” said director Black.
The NREMW will force all paramedics to have an AS degree. “After June 2015 anyone seeking new certification will required to also have a degree. In addition anyone seeking recertification will be required to have a degree or be in class making forward progress towards a degree. Two years from now we will cut off the making progress clause, so there is only a small window for paramedics to finish any incomplete degrees.”
CallTheCops talked to a number of experts who all said the same thing. Get your application into your local college soon… classes will be filling up!