(TNS) - About 40 high school seniors will become the first in Toledo Public Schools (TPS) to attend Owens Community College as full-time EMT students while finishing required courses at TPS.
It’s part of a new partnership, announced Tuesday, between TPS, Owens, the city of Toledo, Toledo’s police and fire divisions, and ProMedica that allows students to graduate high school with an opportunity to obtain an EMT basic certification.
Superintendent Romules Durant told the 40 seniors gathered at Owens that the EMT certification will allow them to pursue careers or higher education in the medical field or in fire and rescue, right out of high school.
“Once you complete, you will be certified and you can truly say, ‘I am career-ready. Because I have a certification that allows me to be employed within the sector of EMT,’” he said.
Students will learn how to save lives, transport patients, and assess emergency situations through the Owens program, Mr. Durant said. They’ll take non-EMT classes twice a week to ensure they can fulfill their TPS graduation requirements. Tuition and fees will be covered through TPS’ College Credit Plus program.
Students also will get hands-on experience through the program by spending time in some of ProMedica’s clinical sites. Interested students also will have the opportunity to interview with ProMedica Toledo Hospital for possible employment once they complete their certification.
Mark King, Owens’ chair of criminal justice and emergency services, told students the program is tough but lauded its results.
“It’s going to challenge you mentally, physically, and emotionally. It’s a lot of work, but it’s very rewarding,” he said. “You will be job-ready when you graduate.”
Rogers High School senior Jaiden Koleman, 18, wants to work as a delivery nurse. She said being able to complete her EMT basic certification while still in high school will give her a leg-up come graduation.
“It’s a good opportunity, and it’s going to look good for future jobs,” she said.
Another Rogers student, Kennedy Smith, 17, also wants to work in the medical field. She said she hopes attending classes at Owens will give her experiences outside the traditional classroom setting that she’ll need to pursue that career. She admitted finishing high school at the same time will be difficult, but she said it can be done.
“It will be a challenge to manage everything,” she said. “But I feel like if you really work hard, you can do it.”
At-large city councilman and current council candidate Cecelia Adams said the program has been two years in the making. She said she has been working with Toledo’s fire and rescue and police departments to create a partnership that both allows them to hire qualified, local candidates and benefits area students.
“Now we have a pipeline for young people who can come and work in our city and be firemen and policemen,” she said.
Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson said she has two goals for young Toledoans: build a career and stay in Toledo.
“We need you,” she told the program’s first cohort. “We want you to be successful.”
Contact Sarah Elms at firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6103, or on Twitter @BySarahElms.
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