Erie, Pa.-- EmergyCare is pleased to announce a new program for summer 2012, Camp EMS, aimed at teens ages 14-17 who have an interest in learning about a career in EMS.
Held July 15-20 on the campus of Allegheny College in Meadville, Camp EMS will host up to 100 teens for an intensive and hands-on look at the rewarding and challenging field of EMS. The week will offer patient care simulations, demonstrations and lectures by some of the region's top EMS and healthcare experts, practical advice on the many career paths available in emergency medical services and lifestyle tips to stay personally safe and healthy. The teens will also have plenty of time for team building, fun and relaxation. A visit by LifeStar helicopter will be one of the highlight's to ensure an unforgettable experience.
By the end of the week campers will have earned their American Heart Association CPR certification, good for two years. This certification is the very first step in a serious of classes and certifications that lead to a career in EMS.
Professional EMTs and paramedics are listed as High Priority Occupations across the state of Pennsylvania, according to the PA Department of Labor and Industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for EMT's and Paramedics is projected to grow at the average job growth rate of 9% through the year 2018. The healthcare industry as a whole is expected to have an overall job growth rate of 22% through 2018, taking the top spot as the nation's largest industry by the same year.
Camp EMS is intended to showcase a practical and affordable way to enter the job market in a growth industry that has nearly unlimited potential for advancement. EMTs and Paramedics can choose to stay in those roles throughout their career, move into education and/or administrative roles in healthcare or continue their education to become nurses and doctors.
James E. Kifer, Jr., Education Coordinator for EmergyCare and Camp EMS Project Director, noted one of the additional goals of Camp EMS, "Our region has been hit hard by the economic downturn and 2010 data shows that 17% of Erie County residents live below the poverty line, with 25% of those being under the age of 18. Those kids living in poverty need to know that good jobs are out there and not all of them require college degrees. EMS and the healthcare industry in general have many career paths where specialized certifications are required rather than college degrees that may seem financially out of reach. Teens feeling hopeless about their job prospects need to know that living wages are within their reach and Camp EMS is intended to highlight one of those pathways."
Amanda Brown Sissem, Program Officer at the Erie Community Foundation, commented on the Foundation's support of the project, "The Foundation was excited to fund this as part of our Great Ideas grant program. Pipeline development programs, like Camp EMS, give kids real opportunities to connect the skills they're learning now to a career path offering sustainable wage jobs. These programs also help to provide a new generation of workers for healthcare, one of the Erie Region's most prevalent sectors. It's a win-win."
Camp EMS is $125 for 6 day/5 night experience. The low tuition fee is made possible because of generous grant support from the Erie Community Foundation, the Northwest Pennsylvania Healthcare Industry Partnership, EMMCO West (the regional EMS Council) and ZOLL Medical, a medical device and software technology firm. Additionally, up to 10 full camp scholarships are available to teens with a demonstrated financial need and an earnest desire to learn about EMS.
Campers who successfully complete Camp EMS will be eligible for up to 8 scholarships to an EMT class offered by EmergyCare. The scholarships are made possible thanks to Brady Books, a division of Pearson Education. An EMT class at EmergyCare costs $385 and lasts approximately 3 months. Students who successfully pass the class are eligible to sit for the EMT certification exam administered by the PA Department of Health. Minimum age for an EMT class is just 16 years old.
Full details, camper application and on-line application are available at EmergyCare.org. Camper applications are due by Friday, June. 8.