VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — "The whole idea is trying to look for a different way to get employees," said Michael Colman, SGMC EMS Chief.
On average, the South Georgia Medical Center receives 75 calls a day. With their current workload Valdosta is having to rely on neighboring counties such as Brooks County and Cook County to shoulder the workload.
Chief Colman said it will take a minimum of 15 additional EMTs to be hired to better serve the community.
Now, with a new EMS cadet program that possibility seems better than ever.
"I'm just excited because our folks right now are under a lot of pressure. When you're under that pressure it's hard to come to work every day," said Colman.
Chief Colman said the 10-week program will take up to 15 people. Taking place for 8 hours a day 3 days a week starting at $13.50 an hour. Cadets will be able to shadow on an ambulance, transport patients, and learn administrative duties just to name a few.
Tools that EMT Bryce Harris said will be a big help.
"Throughout the day we're running 8 to 12, sometimes 13 calls, in a 12-hour period," said Harris.
He says his department would like to add enough workers to run 2 to 3 more trucks a day. Right now, they are only running 6.
"The people coming in with the cadet program will help us spread out that call volume, get more trucks out there into the county, and be able to provide better healthcare opportunities to the community," said Harris.
To apply for the 10-week program, applicants must be 21 or older, have a good driving record, and hospital requirements.