Southern Maine Community College Creates Program to Train Immigrants to be EMTs

Southern Maine Community College, a New England Council member, has created a unique program, ESOL-to-EMT, to train immigrants to become certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).

The program, called English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) to emergency medical technicians (EMTs), aims to address a growing demand for new EMTs, particularly multilingual ones. The program teaches qualified immigrants with medical backgrounds to be interpreters and state-certified EMTs. The noncredit course is free for participants and funded by a grant from the Maine Quality Centers and the John T. Gorman Foundation. For all students who complete the course successfully, the North East Mobile Health Services has committed to offering job interviews and expects to hire between 15 to 20 EMTs over the next year.

“Four members of the course would have been physicians back home, but when they came to the states it didn’t mean anything in our medical field, unfortunately,” said the course instructor Paul Froman, a Biddeford firefighter and paramedic. “Because most of them are doctors or have some medical experience, they’ve seen a lot and they know what to expect. And because they have medical backgrounds, they ask good questions.”

The New England Council thanks Southern Maine Community College for creating this inventive program to address an area of need in the community and provide an opportunity for these uniquely qualified students to learn. Read more in Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News.

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