Buffalo, NY, Mayor Brown Joins AMR for Graduation of Newly Certified EMTs and Discussion of Diversity


AMR Buffalo's Innovative "Earn While You Learn" Program has graduated 56% women and 51% minorities since its inception.
At a time of unprecedented public health and economic challenges, Mayor Byron W. Brown today joined American Medical Response (AMR) at a ceremony for new EMT professionals who have graduated from the “Earn While You Learn” (EWYL) academy in Buffalo.

The graduates took part in AMR’s award-winning “Earn While You Learn” program and were hired as employees and compensated while attending the company’s EMT-Basic Certification course. AMR has graduated 145 Buffalo area EMTs since launching the program in 2018. Of those graduates, 56 percent are women and 51 percent are minority.

“As we face the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, our community’s need for medical first responders has never been greater, and the financial difficulties caused by the pandemic make AMR’s paid training more valuable than ever,” Mayor Brown said. “The groundbreaking ‘Earn While You Learn’ program makes careers in emergency medical services more accessible and inclusive. This program opens the door to those who could never have gone through the training without a steady income stream and prepares them for a rewarding and well-paying career.”

This is the sixth class that has graduated since the innovative program, which was developed in coordination with Mayor Brown and Teamsters Local 449. The ground-breaking EWYL initiative recruits from across the area and allows trainees to be full-time employees while taking the necessary certification courses to become emergency medical technicians (EMTs). The program has made a career in emergency medical services more accessible, ensuring that a candidate is financially secure while in training.

“We congratulate the graduates and welcome them to the AMR family in Western New York. This program has proven to be a tremendous success, not only in Buffalo but nationwide,” said Timothy Frost, AMR Regional Director for Buffalo. “The Earn While You Learn program gives compassionate and committed individuals the ability to answer the call to become EMTs and pays them to do it. Now, because of this program, we have 6 new EMTs to join the nearly 500 EMS professionals at AMR in Buffalo.”

Immediately after the ceremony, Mayor Brown, and a panel of leaders from Global Medical Response (GMR) - the parent company of AMR - including Randy Owen, CEO and Ted Van Horne, COO, held a virtual discussion on best practices surrounding Diversity and Inclusion.

GMR is committed to taking what they learned from their success with the Earn While You Learn program in Buffalo and expanding it to other regions of the country. During the call, Mayor Brown - who has launched successful Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives - helped to identify further best practices and lessons from his own administration. GMR also announced it would be hiring a new talent acquisition leader who will focus on continuing to build diversity.

“Despite the loss of jobs and negative economic effects of COVID 19, we continue to create jobs and opportunity thanks to partnerships like the one we have with the City of Buffalo and Mayor Brown,” said Thomas Maxian, AMR Regional President. “His impressive dedication to diversity and inclusion has benefited this City, and at AMR we’ve been able to develop innovative programs such as Earn While You Learn to help improve EMS service in Buffalo - and across the country - because of the Mayor’s support.”

“Earn While You Learn” was piloted in Buffalo in 2018 and received a national honor last year from the American Ambulance Association in the best Employee Programs Category. Similar programs have also been launched in Massachusetts, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. The next academy will start in Buffalo on September 8, 2020. For additional information or to sign up for the academy please visit www.amrwny.net.