The UAM College of Technology in McGehee, through a partnership with the Greater Delta Alliance for Health, will offer free classes in emergency medical technician (EMT) education and certification beginning on August 24.

The classes are available for up to 30 firefighters from 10 delta counties – Arkansas, Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Dallas, Desha, Drew, Jefferson, Phillips, and St. Francis.

“The need for well-prepared hospital personnel and emergency response agencies is crucial in the Arkansas delta,” said Mellie Bridewell, GDAH executive director. “With the vast shortage of nurses and ambulance workers in the region, it is imperative that current staff be trained with the necessary skills needed to meet the challenges in providing lifesaving services.”

Funding for the classes is provided by a $752,832 USDA Delta Health Care Services Grant to create the Arkansas Delta Health Education for Local Providers (HELP) Expansion Project. The project includes a partnership between the UAM COT-McGehee, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and the GDAH, a non-profit organization of 10 Arkansas delta hospitals.

“The UAM College of Technology-McGehee is pleased to be involved in this project,” said Bob Ware, vice chancellor of the McGehee campus. “The training we will be able to provide to area firefighters will have a dramatic impact on this region and will save lives.”

For more information, call Amanda Kuttenkuler at (870) 224-3779.