New River Hosts Meeting In Marlinton To Talk About Paramedic Program
Marlinton, WV – New River Community and Technical College invites the public to an information session at the One Room University in Marlinton on Tuesday, Feb 28th. The purpose of the session is to gauge interest in the expansion of New River’s Paramedic Certificate program in Pocahontas County. Rich Bernhardt, Paramedic Program Coordinator for the school says Paramedics are always in demand.
“Southern Virginia has a great demand for paramedics, a lot of the paramedics and intermediate emt’s national certification end up moving out of the area, so the attrition is high,” he says. ” Here in southern West Virginia, it’s particularly high because of the other locations in the area, Virginia North Carolina and Ohio; a lot of people who get their national certification will move to those areas for the higher pay scale.”
The Paramedic Certificate program is an intensive one year program designed to prepare students for careers as paramedics in a variety of health care settings. It includes classroom, lab, field and clinical experiences.
“The paramedic certificate program involves 42 hours of course work over three semesters,” says Bernhardt. “The prerequisites for this program are you have to be an EMT Basic with we prefer at least a year’s experience. The cost for the paramedic program by the time you do the student fees, three semesters and books is in the neighborhood of $6000.00.”
He says New River does offer financial aid.
“With being certificate courses, they meet the requirement for financial aid,” he says. “When a student applies here, we encourage them to fill out the FASFA form online; and what the FASFA does, it tells the student what they’re eligible for as far as grants, financial aid and what have you.”
The average salary for a Paramedic based on Bureau of Labor statistics ranges from $33,000.00 to around $40,000.00 per year; and adding in the number of overtime hours that many paramedics work, that number can reach as high as $50,000.00.
The course is currently offered at the Greenbrier campus in Lewisburg, but if there is enough interest, New River may also offer classes in Pocahontas. Anyone interested in learning more about the Paramedic program is invited to come to the One Room University on Tuesday, February 28th at 6pm. The ORU is located on the second floor of City National Bank in Marlinton.