Earn While You Learn Graduates Celebrate


Innovative Program Offers Monroe County Residents a Cost-Free Way to Begin a Career in EMS
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, City of Rochester Fire Chief Felipe Hernandez Jr., and City of Rochester South District Council Member, LaShay Harris joined officials from American Medical Response (AMR) at the Rochester Educational Opportunity Center today to celebrate the inaugural graduation ceremony for 13 new EMTs from the award-winning ‘Earn While You Learn’ Academy. The program hires trainees as full-time employees while they complete training and certification courses to become Emergency Medical Technicians. The graduation event comes as the nation grapples with continued shortages of healthcare workers and job-losses resulting from the pandemic.

AMR launched the award-winning EWYL program as a way to ease the financial transition for those wanting to become EMS professionals. The innovative program allows for paid on-the-job training while taking the necessary certification courses to become EMTs. Following successful completion of the program, the participants are given the opportunity to become full-time employees with a commensurate pay increase. Since launching the EWYL Program in 2018, AMR has graduated over 779 EMS professionals nationwide. This is the first graduating class for AMR Rochester.

“Congratulations and thank you to the graduates of this program. Not only are you beginning a rewarding career, but you are serving your community in a time of need as there is a shortage of healthcare workers and increasing calls for help,” said Adam Bello, Monroe County Executive. “Our first responders are vital. Your example will help others choose a similar career path to help ensure the success and health of our neighbors and community.”

“The shortage of healthcare workers and the impact of pandemic-related job losses are situations that are not unique to Rochester or the whole of New York state,” said Tim Frost, Regional Director for AMR. “Through innovative programs like Earn While You Learn and our newly implemented Nurse Navigation Line, we are alleviating pressure on our area healthcare and EMS systems while bringing viable career options to area residents. Today’s 13 graduates are a testament to AMR’s investment in the community and its residents.”

Earn While You Learn received a national honor from the American Ambulance Association in the best Employee Programs Category. Similar programs have also been launched in Alabama, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Arizona, Nevada and Tennessee.

The next AMR Rochester ‘Earn While You Learn’ academy is scheduled to begin Monday, April 11, 2022. Interested parties can contact Casey Lynk for more information. The application period for the April academy will open in February 2022.