Paramedic class offers advantages to Washington City firefighters

WASHINGTON CITY – Members of the Washington City Fire Department seeking to become paramedics now have the opportunity to do so, thanks to an inter-government agreement made between the city and Mohave Community College this week.

Washington City Fire Chief Brent Hafen addressed the City Council Wednesday concerning the agreement between the city and the Arizona-based college, an agreement the council ultimately supported.

The Hurricane and Leeds fire departments already have agreements with Mohave Community College that allow their firefighters to receive paramedic training at reduced costs. The departments involved in the agreement supply the material and classroom, while the college provides the instructor.

While some costs are covered by federal grants, Hafen said Washington City firefighters will be paying for the classes themselves at the reduced rate of around $5,000. The course could cost twice as much otherwise, he said.

Last year, Washington City had one firefighter take the course. Four enrolled this year.

Currently, the highest level of medical training the Washington City Fire Department offers through its own academy is Advanced Emergency Medical Technician.

“It gives us a recruiting tool for Washington Fire,” Hafen said. Being able to offer the class at a reduced rate would not only benefit the fire department  but help firefighters, particularly volunteers, who want a full-time career in public safety.

“It’s really an advantage,” he said of the class, as some fire departments won’t consider moving a firefighter from volunteer to employment status unless they have a paramedic certification.

As the Washington City Fire Department, Hafen said, “It’s nice for us to have that base of knowledge.”

Email: mkessler@stgeorgeutah.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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