A new crew of EMT workers are poised to hit the streets following a 100 percent pass rate in the skills portion of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician Exam.
The State of Georgia requires EMT workers to pass both a written and a skills exam to be licensed in Georgia. Once they pass the national test, EMT students automatically become certified in Georgia.
Sixteen Rockdale County firefighters are in the graduating class that passed the skills portion of the test Friday. Four other civilians also took and passed the DeKalb Tech administered State exam.
Tom Kamplain, DeKalb Tech's director of EMT and Fire Sciences program expects all of the recruits to take the written portion of the exam this month. Three of them have already taken and passed that portion of the test.
"These guys have excelled in everything," said Kamplain.
DeKalb Tech's pass rate has improved dramatically within the past two years. Under the leadership of Dr. Richard Wieser as the department chair for DeKalb Technical College's Public Safety & Security division and with Kamplain heading up EMT and Fire Sciences, "We've gone from a 50-60 percent pass rate to more than 90 percent for the written exam," said Kamplain.
The current economy may play a role in the enrollment and success rate of recent classes, he said.
DeKalb Tech currently offers an accelerated 20-week course. Students attend class Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"With the economy the way it is, students want to take these accelerated classes and get out into the work world," Kamplain said.
He said these graduates are entering a job market in which their almost guaranteed employment because of the high demand for skilled EMT workers.
"When you pass the exam and get your license, you're going to get a job and it's a good paying job," he said.
DeKalb Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, has eight centers of learning in DeKalb, Newton, Rockdale and Morgan counties. Established in 1961, DeKalb Technical College currently has more than 4,000 students enrolled in diploma or degree programs and more than 9,000 in adult education classes. Academic and Technical programs at DeKalb Tech cover more than 100 different occupations.
More information is available at www.dekalbtech.edu.