PV Fire ScholarshipEffort Gaining Momentum | TheUnion.com

PV Fire ScholarshipEffort Gaining Momentum

The Penn Valley Fire Protection District is the only fire district in western Nevada County that provides advanced life support and transporting ambulance service.

We always maintain at least one paramedic per station on duty. This staffing arrangement is critical, given our isolated location from any cardiac or trauma centers.

Firefighter/paramedics are in high demand. Over the past few years the District has hired recent graduates of paramedic programs, only to have many leave after a year or two to larger fire districts which are able to provide better pay and benefits.

The recruitment, screening and training of new firefighter/paramedics comes at a substantial cost to the District.

Earlier this year PVFPD board member Bruce Stephenson, a retired fire captain/paramedic, put forth a proposal to implement a special paramedic scholarship program that would pay the paramedic school fee (currently $14,000) for any current District firefighter who wants to become a paramedic.

In return the employee would sign an agreement to remain with the District for a minimum of three to five years after completing the training. In the event an employee left early, he/she would be required to reimburse the District the cost of the paramedic training.

Through this arrangement the District would be expanding the number of paramedics on staff, while at the same time addressing the attrition issue. The PVFPD board implemented the program.

The first recipient is Firefighter/EMT Colin Gault, who is currently in his classroom portion of the training, which consists of a minimum of 1,400 hours. The process is roughly one year from start to finish.

With that fund now depleted, its time to start building it back up so we can send another employee later in 2019.

If you belong to a club, group or organization that would be interested in hearing a presentation regarding the Paramedic Scholarship Program, please contact us at 432-2630, or via e-mail at dwagner@pennvalleyfire.com. Donations from individuals are always welcomed and are tax deductible.

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