KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Kansas City, Kansas, Fire Department is starting a program to recruit more paramedics amid a national shortage.
KCKFD Assistant Fire Chief Morris Letcher told 41 Action News the department is short about 20 paramedics right now.
"Firefighting is more than just firefighing," Letcher said. "We're an EMS-based service, so we have to keep up with the times."
The application is extensive and open to any EMTs who are willing to relocate to Wyandotte County within 12 months and want to take the next step to become a paramedic.
KCKFD will reimburse paramedic courses up to $5,000, participants will be paid $2,300 a month while in school and they are guaranteed a job after graduation, assuming they pass the state certification test.
"You do like 20 shifts on an ambulance and there's 20 or 30 shifts in the hospital doing 12-hour rotations in the ICU, OB (obstetrics), emergency room — everywhere in the hospital, so you kind of learn all the specialties, because when you're a medic, you have to be able to do a little bit of everything," Nick Carvan, a KCK firefighter and paramedic said. "Sometimes, it can be overwhelming."
KCKFD said the goal is to ease the financial stress that comes with paramedic school and be proactive to address a shortage in the department.
The deadline to apply is Wednesday, Aug. 21.