News10NBC Investigates: AMR hoping to recruit more EMTs through ‘Earn While You Learn’ program

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The shortage of EMTs and Paramedics is reaching a critical level. For months, News10NBC has been exposing AMR’s slowing response times in the City of Rochester and its increased reliance on mutual aid.

On Thursday, the company launched a new program it’s hoping will encourage more people to consider becoming EMTs.

AMR is looking for 16 individuals to enter an 11-week training program.

“We want to give this opportunity to folks here in Rochester, to anyone who has an interest in a healthcare career who may not have seen a path to doing that in the past,” said AMR Rochester’s Operations Manager Mark Philippy.

Applicants must be 18 years old, hold a high school diploma or GED and pass a background check. AMR will pay you while you get trained and guarantee you a job as an EMT when you pass your certification.

Jennifer Lewke (News10NBC) – One of the biggest issues we’ve heard about the lack of staffing is the pay…So, how much does this program pay people and does it change once they are certified?

Mark Philippy – They will start out at $13.50/hour which is just over the minimum wage and at the end of the successful completion and achieving their EMT credential they will go to $16.50 which is our union-negotiated wage here in Rochester.

Jennifer Lewke – Do you anticipate that if you fill this academy and get these EMTs on the street, that’s going to be enough to better response times?

Mark Philippy – I really don’t want to talk about response times as we’ve mentioned before in our previous conversations, response times is a red herring, we could talk about response times all day long but what we want to talk about is our ability to serve the community that’s really what it’s all about.

AMR says in addition to the pay, its employees are offered medical, dental and vision insurance, 401k retirement plans with a company match and paid time off. Philippy also says that the company covers additional training for some employees who want to continue their education to become paramedics.

Applications for the EMT Academy are due by 5 p.m. on July 9. AMR expects classes to begin on Monday, July 19, they will be held Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. For more information or to apply, click here or email