CLEVELAND — With an 87.5% increase in paramedic training from spring 2021 to spring 2022, staff at Lakeshore Technical College are excited about the prospect of sending 30 more essential workers into the field by the end of the year.
The increase is likely the result of grants which help fund a collaborative effort between LTC and two rural colleges, and heightened awareness during the pandemic of the continued need for essential workers.
Half the increase came from students enrolled at LTC’s Cleveland campus. The other half came from LTC’s two “shared program” partner colleges: Nicolet College, located in Rhinelander, and Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, located in Fennimore. The three colleges coordinate training for students, with LTC also responsible for instruction via video conferencing as well as grant-related administrative duties.
“The enrollment increase in our paramedic training is a sign our partnerships are working. The ability for us to bring this program to communities served by our fellow rural technical colleges speaks highly to the cooperative nature of our technical college system,” said LTC President Dr. Paul Carlsen.
Nicolet and Southwest lacked paramedic training until their partnerships with LTC began in 2020 and 2021 respectively. The rural areas depended on volunteer personnel for many years. Due to declining volunteer populations and increasing liability costs, many communities have been reconsidering the all-volunteer emergency medical services (EMS) structure. However, with no formal paramedic training available locally in the Rhinelander or Fennimore areas, the pool of trained advanced level EMS personnel is limited. It is also a barrier to meeting current and future workforce needs in these rural areas.
LTC has offered paramedic training since 1990. Paramedics are highly trained and skilled emergency medical service professionals that can also carry out advanced life support treatment measures. They are employed by municipal fire departments, EMS providers, hospitals, and other health care providers.
For information about LTC’s paramedic and other essential worker programs, visit gotoltc.edu.