Ohio County’s Hospital Launches Scholarship Program to Combat Lack of EMTs, Paramedics
May 26–BELLEFONTAINE — A local hospital wants to combat a decline in the number of volunteer EMTs and paramedics in Logan County.
Mary Rutan Hospital has started a $10,000 scholarship fund to cover half the cost of certification for six volunteers, said Tammy Allison, chief operating officer of the Mary Rutan Foundation.
“We understand that the cost of those certifications is a barrier for some of those individuals that may have an interest,” she said.
Over the past several years, she said, many volunteer first responders have retired or moved on to other jobs.
“In the past probably 5 to 8 years, we’ve seen those folks age and retire from that service,” she said.
But not enough new volunteers have stepped up, she said.
“The effect is on our community,” she said.
Neighbors in West Liberty said they’re worried about the shortage of first responders.
“I know how important they are because some of them have done a lot for me,” Troy Freehauf said.
Medics were there for Freehauf when he recently had a stroke, he said.
“They can nine times out of 10 be the meaning between life and death for a lot of people,” he said.
Applicants for the scholarships will have to be Logan County residents and agree to work in the county for two years, Allison said.
Scholarships will be given for EMT basic, EMT intermediate and paramedic certification.
Having more first responders in the community will make Freehauf feel safer, he said.
Applications for the scholarships can be found at MaryRutan.org and are due by July 1. The recipients will be chosen by the end of July, Allison said.
Copyright 2016 – Springfield News-Sun, Ohio