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Penn State Health utilizing new training program to recruit EMTs

Life Lion's in-house training program gives students the ability to respond to lifelike trauma and medical scenarios.

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — As EMS agencies continue to struggle to recruit new workers, Penn State Health Life Lion is utilizing a new internal program to help train and hire the next generation of EMTs.

“There’s no shortage of 911 calls so what we’re really working to do is bolster our ranks to stay ahead of the curve,” said Scott Buchle, director of Penn State Health Life Lion.

“I grew up in the fire service and I love taking care of people so I took my fire service a step further and wanted to be an EMT,” said Megan Imler.

Imler is one of 14 EMT apprentice students who spent Monday at the Lancaster County Public Safety Training Center, responding to real-time medical and trauma scenarios.

“Learning it from a book is great but actually [being] hands-on, [that] helps me more often,” explained Imler.

Life Lion launched the training program late last year in an effort to train more first responders as agencies continue to struggle with recruiting.

“People need to understand if you call for an ambulance, there will an ambulance that will come to your aid -- but it’s getting tougher,” said Buchle.

The program allows students to take advantage of Penn State Health education benefits, helping them go onto other healthcare positions if they want to.

“You can definitely see the impact of low numbers in healthcare, struggling with shifts and working a lot and stuff like that but at the end of the day if those people are really committed to that job they’re going to stick with it,” said another student, Drake Peugh.

This class is the second to go through the 10-week regimen, putting them one step closer to saving real lives in the community.

“At the end of the day when I realize I’ve helped a person, it makes me feel good inside and that’s what I love about the job,” said Imler.

Anyone interested in taking part in the Life Lion program can learn more here.

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