Darlington County EMS & Workforce Development
Darlington County Emergency Management Services (EMS) has launched an apprenticeship program for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). The students/employees will have no out-of-pocket expenses thanks to a U.S. Department of Labor grant awarded to Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC) by Apprenticeship Carolina (AC), a division of the South Carolina Technical College System. The Pee Dee Workforce Development Board, collaboration with Eckerd Connects, is pleased to partner in this program by offering On-the-Job Training (OJT) reimbursements to the county and to the new employees, an opportunity to receive hands-on training guidance from experienced EMT employees.
The EMT-Basic class is an accelerated 14-week program for the selected candidates. The candidates that are also determined eligible for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) support will participate in 780 hours of On-the-Job Training (OJT). As an apprentice, the students are full-time employees of Darlington County EMS and, as an EMT-Trainee receiving wages while attending 200+ classroom hours (2 days a week), a 24/72 schedule rotation working in the field as a crew member on an ambulance, and full benefits. The EMT-Trainees began work on April 5, 2022.
EMT Trainees are paid a reasonable starting hourly wage with SC state health insurance and retirement benefits, vacation time, paid holidays and sick leave benefits. Once an EMT Trainee has completed the program and successfully obtained all required EMS certifications they will either work full time or in a PRN position as an EMT Basic with Darlington County EMS, and receive a wage increase, in accordance with the wage progression component of apprenticeships.
The Pee Dee Workforce Board is pleased to partner with Darlington County EMS and Apprenticeship Carolina to supply the pipeline of desperately needed EMS workers. For more information on how county/city governments or private sector employers can benefit from WIOA-funded On-the-Job Training or apprenticeships, contact Dianne Herrington at (843) 687-0091.
Additional information about Florence-Darlington Technical College's efforts to support the EMT talent pipeline can be accessed at this link: https://www.fdtc.edu/marketing/news/fdtc-helps-fill-emt-shortage