Province providing funding for paramedic training in Dawson Creek

The Province will provide the funding so that the Justice Institute of BC (JIBC) can facilitate the training of 15 students through its part-time Primary Care Paramedic program. The funding will allow the JIBC to fund two-thirds of those students’ tuition costs, with the other one-third covered by the students, although there are bursaries and grants available to help cover those costs, said Kathy Harms, acting program director for accredited programs with the JIBC’s School of Health Sciences.

She said the part-time program takes longer to complete than the full-time course, with about three weeks between workshops, although there are online courses and studying that is required in between those workshops. She added the part-time program allows students to maintain employment while they receive the training.

Harms said the training will certify students as primary care paramedics, but they would still need to licence either in British Columbia or Alberta. She said in this province, primary care paramedics can find employment with the BC Ambulance Service, with private companies that service the oil and gas sector, for example, or they can decide to pursue further training in specialized areas within the healthcare field.

She added there will also be an emphasis on those 15 students receiving their practical training in the Peace region.

“We’ve been working with the BC Ambulance Service and Northern Health Authority to make sure we will have clinical placements in that area so that students don’t have to travel so far to get those components of the program,” she said.

Applications are being accepted until Dec. 21 for the program which begins with an online component on Feb. 20, 2012, and offers the first workshop at end the of March, 2012. More information on the program, including prerequisites, can be found online at: http://www.jibc.ca/programs-courses/schools-departments/school-health-sciences/paramedic-academy/programs/primary-care-paramedic