DCFR to offer free EMT-B course to public

Published 9:27 am Monday, November 1, 2021

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Following a successful first year of offering a free EMT-B Course for interested individuals, Decatur County Fire and Rescue has decided to reopen the program again this fall, through the help of a grant fund.

“This will be a phase one class,” said Engineer Tyler Dalton. “As long as we continue to have people interested, we will then go into phase two.”

The hope is that this affordable class will help with the massive shortage of EMTs nationwide.

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The phase one class will begin January 11 and last through April 28.

Due to COVID-19, DCFR Assistant Chief Jamie Earp said they had to previously turn away students who wanted to participate, so his hope is that they will return and sign up again.

Earp believes the monetary feasibility of the class really draws students in.

“Given the monetary aspect of it, it being less than a car payment for an education is very appealing,” he said.

Dalton wants to emphasize that the goal of the DCFR EMT-B course is to not try and take people away from the college, but it is more geared toward individuals, who may never have had the opportunity to go.

“We want to give people an option, who maybe the college wasn’t an option for them,” Dalton said.

Earp agreed, stating they are trying to target an entirely different range of people than who the college is targeting.

“If people are fulfilling our needs in the workforce through the collegiate setting, then that’s great,” Earp said. “But, if they’re not and we can find an alternative then we want to do that.”

The class will be held near the Decatur County Airport and will charge fees for uniforms and testing materials.

Students will be asked to pass a background check and drug test prior to joining the class.

The classes will be held twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., but Dalton said it is tentative to change, depending on what is happening in the field.

The morning portion of the class will feature the lecture, while the afternoon allows students to have hands-on action.

“We’ve learned through this last class that seems to work a lot better, so we aren’t overloading people with too much lecture that they aren’t retaining the information,” Dalton said. “When they get to the hands-on portion, it really helps it stick.”

The proof the lecture/hands-on method worked, was in their 100% pass rate to move onto Advanced EMT last year.

Earp said he still sticks to his motto, claiming if they can’t treat his family when they leave, he can’t pass them.

“We’ve got to be able to deliver the skills we trained to deliver,” Earp said.

To register, email jearp@decaturcountyga.gov.

“We want to fill a classroom, safely and have as many people join as possible,” Earp concluded.