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Mercy EMS nearly doubles paramedic staff

More live-saving paramedics are on the force
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 5:28 PM EDT
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CALUMET, Mich. (WLUC) - More people can now save your life in Houghton and Keweenaw Counties. Mercy EMS has nearly doubled its number of full-time paramedics.

Three emergency medical technicians, or EMTs, have passed their paramedic certifications.

This brings the workforce from only five full-time paramedics to eight.

“For us to have these individuals go through the training and become certified paramedics is huge, not only for Mercy but for the communities we serve,” said Patrick Boberg, Mercy EMS CEO and paramedic.

The difference between an EMT and a paramedic is paramedics don’t have restrictions on what procedures they can perform on calls. To become a paramedic, you must finish a degree in paramedicine, complete national certification and obtain a state license.

Which, newly certified Paramedic Austin Kucharski says was not easy.

“It was challenging,” said Kucharski. “The instructors did a really good job of preparing us for the test at the end. As well as making us well-rounded, knowledgeable paramedics.”

Kucharski says his schooling took time, as well. However, he says it was worth it.

“That runs from August to August, so it’s a year,” said Kucharski. “That being said, you have to have your EMT before going into that. If you were to start with no licensing, it is a two-year program.”

Once paramedics start saving lives Boberg says it becomes a greatly rewarding profession.

“Passing by somebody that was in a cardiac arrest, that you brought them back,” said Boberg. “You pass them on the street, there’s not much more you can say. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to give somebody a second chance at life.”

If you are interested in beginning a career in emergency services, Mercy EMS has EMT training sessions as soon as this month with open spots that need to be filled.

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