INDIANAPOLIS — A shortage of paramedics has Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services getting creative.

IEMS are launching a new program that will quickly train Hoosiers to become emergency medical technicians (EMT). Those students will be paid during the process.

“We are looking to take people with no prior experience, just a desire to do it, and we will pay them full-time, benefited wages from day one,” Brian Van Bokkelen with Indy EMS said.

The 10-week course is five days a week, resulting in an EMT certification. After six months on the job, Indy EMS will pay for their paramedic training.

Van Bokkelen said paramedic jobs typically start around $50,000 a year. Typically, the EMT courses operate on 120 classroom hours.

Often people take the classes at a slower pace while working another job. This new program will now pay trainees $18 an hour right from the start of the training. Students will also be eligible for benefits, which includes tuition reimbursement.

“It is not uncommon for people to go EMT to paramedic to nursing onto medical school. They don’t have to pay a dime out of pocket for it,” said Van Bokkelen.

The EMT trainee program is open to anyone over the age of 18 with a high school diploma, or equivalent education. Applications for the program are due by July 18 and classes will begin on August 22.

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