The Arkansas City Fire-EMS Department is looking for a few good recruits.

Due to attrition, ACFD has been understaffed for more than six months. Right now, the most pressing need is for more paramedics.

“We’re having trouble finding paramedics,” said Fire Chief Bobby Wolfe. “It’s a problem not unique to us.”

Across the nation, there are reports of shortages of paramedics.

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are found more easily because of the lower level of education required for the position.

Paramedics are able to provide more thorough emergency medical assistance because they are qualified to do more than EMTs.

Ark City has a paramedic education program close to home at Cowley College’s Allied Health Center at Baden Square in Winfield.

The Kansas Board of Emergency Medical Services, which “regulates EMS education in Kansas, requires that all paramedic graduates, at a minimum, be conferred an Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) upon program completion,” the Cowley College website states.

The paramedic classes can be taken in 12- or 14-month blocks. Financial aid might be available to some students.

The 12-month cohorts start each January, while the 14-month program is offered in two versions — one in conjunction with Butler Community College, and one with Neosho County Community College and Flint Hills Technical College.

Paramedic students must complete a criminal background check prior to any clinical or field rotations.

However, in order to be hired by the department, candidates must have certain educational requirements, including EMT and Firefighter I.

Duties of this full-time position include protecting life and property by engaging directly in firefighting, emergency care, and fire prevention.

Paramedics also maintain fire and EMS equipment, apparatus, and facilities.

Candidates must possess a Kansas Certified Paramedic license and CPR certification at the time of employment.

The full listing for this position can be found at www.hrepartners.com/jobdetails.aspx?id=27987.

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