The Texas Department of State Health Services announced Wednesday it will offer Emergency Medical Service scholarships to assist students looking to pursue careers in the EMS field.
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The Texas Legislature passed a $21.7 million EMS education and recruitment initiative as part of its American Rescue Plan Act package in October 2021. The legislation was in response to the dramatic workforce shortage that many Texas EMS agencies were and are still facing.
According to the Texas EMS Alliance, the state’s training programs are not able to produce enough new EMS professionals to meet demand. They attribute the lack of workers and new applicants to demanding working conditions and higher-paying career opportunities in other parts of health care and the economy.
In addition to EMS recruitment, DSHS will take measures to improve workforce retention through a federally funded public awareness campaign. The scholarship program aims to recruit students into the profession and will give special attention to those from rural and other underserved areas of the state where workforce shortages are most severe.
“Every 10 seconds, a Texan needs help,” said DSHS State EMS Director Joseph Schmider. “If you want to help your neighbor, we are looking for you. And if you’re looking for an exciting career or volunteer opportunity, consider Emergency Medical Services.”
DSHS said there are many full-time, part-time, and volunteer opportunities available throughout the state as the demand for professionals increases. The program touts that EMS education and training can take as little as 15 weeks to enter the field with competitive salaries and benefits when complete.
Texas Regional Advisory Councils (RAC) manage EMS and trauma services. DSHS advises that those interested in pursuing a career in EMS should contact their RAC for information about scholarships, jobs, and volunteer opportunities in their area.
More information about career opportunities and scholarships for education and training in EMS can be found at dshs.texas.gov/team-texas-ems.