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HALO-Flight EMS Academy offers free tuition and training

Tuition and books are covered for anyone who is accepted into the Emergency Medical Technician program

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — For the last decade, Coastal Bend College in Alice has partnered with the HALO-Flight EMS Academy to help students begin careers as first responders.

They are about to do it again but this time, they are making it easier than ever to sign-up.

Most of us can spot a good deal from across the room, and this certainly seems to be one. It’s a six-month course in an area where the demand for workers is high and the training is free.

Tuition and books are covered for anyone who is accepted into the Emergency Medical Technician program – something Wendy Greer, Director of HALO-Flight EMS Academy, said that has proven to be especially beneficial for outlying communities.

“They’re all short on staffing and, therefore, our goal is to get these folks from these rural communities trained, get them certified, and back into these rural communities to help staff their 911 service," Greer said.

Greer told 3NEWS that the hours are right, too, especially if residents already have a job and are thinking about switching careers or adding skills for a part-time job.

“After all, healthcare is kind of recession-proof. No matter where you go in the healthcare field, you will almost always have a job," Greer said.

Three nights a week for five months, and you’re on your way to something that not only serves the people of south Texas but can also open doors to other opportunities.

That’s what happened for academy graduate Gabrielle Everett.

“The HALO-Flight EMS Academy is really what gave me a firm foundation in emergency medicine," Everett said.

Her time in the program led her to Mathis, and eventually, to more education and a spot with the Annaville Fire Department, where she now works as a firefighter and paramedic.

“There’s nothing greater that somebody could do than to have someone’s life in their hands and to know that you made a difference and that they couldn’t have done it without you," Everett said.

Everett is an example of one of the program’s aims: to train and then keep people working right here at home.

They are taking applications until August 22nd.

To apply, contact the Coastal Bend College Department of Continuing Education at ce@coastalbend.edu or (361) 354-2306.

You can also visit www.haloflight.org/ems.

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