In an effort to generate more interest in the field, the Callaway County Ambulance District is offering a special opportunity to area teens.
This fall, the ambulance district will give a standard Emergency Medical Technician course for high school seniors only - at a discounted rate of $250 rather than the usual $800.
"It will start in August right after school starts - every Saturday from 9-1 - and will end in the spring around the same time school does," Anderson said. "At the end of the class, as soon as they are 18, they will be able to go take the practical and written tests and if they pass those, they'll be eligible for licensure in Missouri."
In order to be eligible, students must be enrolled in one of the four Callaway County high schools. Class size is limited to 30 students.
"We're hoping to generate some interest in our field of emergency services and health care," Anderson said of the decision to offer the course. "In trying to attract new employees, we've noticed that we don't have a lot to choose from locally - we have to recruit from elsewhere."
He said most of the instruction will be given by training officer Kelly Drennan.
Asked whether he thought potential students might be put off or intimidated by committing to every Saturday, Anderson pointed out that the end result of all that time will be valuable training.
"To me, I think if they choose to do it they'll certainly learn some skills they can use to build a career in emergency services - they can get a job right out of high school," Anderson said, pointing out it also could help students secure part-time employment should they decide to go on to school rather than enter the field. "It will be beneficial to them."