<< Back

New EMTs 'Earn While They Learn' Through Innovative Program

May 18, 2022

As a recent graduate of the Earn While You Learn program that was started by Hunter’s Ambulance earlier this year, Jalyar Robbins is now working as a certified EMT for Hunter's. “I sent them my application and my resume. I received a call two days later for an interview and I was like, this is great,” Robbins explained. Earn While You Learn EMT Graduation Robbins, along with five others, was part of the first group to graduate from the new and innovative program, which was started as a way to help combat the shortage of EMTs due to COVID. The pandemic caused the delay or cancellation of EMT and paramedic programs until schools reopened – causing a ripple effect across EMS systems. “We have to actively and proactively go after new recruits and find new ways to bring in employees and this was a great opportunity to do that,” said Kevin Ferrarotti, senior director for Hartford HealthCare Emergency Medical Services. “This ensures exceptional and timely care to communities across our state.” The Earn While You Learn program accepts new recruits and offers them full-time employment, which means they get paid during their training. From the start, the training goes through the motions of learning basic life support – critical to treating and stabilizing a patient prior to hospital care. The graduates simultaneously go through an extensive onboarding process, which includes driver training. “Not only are they embedded in our culture, but they’re working alongside our entire team of professionals as they learn – and that type of experience is invaluable,” said Ferrarotti. Training and certification through the State of Connecticut can cost upwards of $1,500 per recruit. Hunter’s is paying for it all through this new program to help those who may not be able to pay for the training and certification on their own due to financial limitations. “Paying for the training and for the certification was a two for two for me – something I couldn’t pass up.” said Robbins. “And there’s so much room for internal growth once your foot is in the door.” Hunter’s Ambulance, which is part of Hartford HealthCare, will offer two training sessions through the Earn While You Learn program every year. One class in the spring and the other in the fall; applications will be accepted for the fall class in July. For more information, visit www.huntersamb.com/Careers.