The Texas Department of State Health Services is providing Emergency Medical Service scholarships to help interested Texans complete education and training to begin careers in the EMS field. The Texas Legislature provided $21 million to fund the scholarships for students using approved EMS education programs and licensed EMS providers, with special attention given to rural and other underserved areas of Texas.
Full-time, part-time and volunteer opportunities abound in Texas as the demand for EMS professionals increases across the state. Texas currently lacks sufficient EMS personnel working in ambulances, especially in rural areas. These parts of the state face other challenges as EMS personnel are often older, with an average age of 50, and age can have an effect in these physically demanding positions. Other challenges to rural EMS coverage include a lack of available candidates, difficult work conditions and geographic obstacles.
EMS careers offer competitive salaries and benefits, and people can begin working in as little as 15 weeks. Whether working as an emergency medical technician, advanced EMT or paramedic, the EMS field offers people the chance to help others in their communities while advancing their careers in health care.
“Every 10 seconds, a Texan needs help,” said DSHS State EMS Director Joseph Schmider. “If you want to help your neighbor, we are looking for you. And if you’re looking for an exciting career or volunteer opportunity, consider Emergency Medical Services.”
Texas Regional Advisory Councils manage EMS and trauma services, and those interested in pursuing a career in EMS should contact their RAC for information about scholarships, jobs and volunteer opportunities in their area.
Roughly 72,000 certified EMS personnel operate on over 5,000 ambulances, but many more are needed, especially in rural areas. In addition to recruiting Texans to the EMS workforce, DSHS is also taking measures to increase retention among existing personnel. A federally funded public awareness campaign designed to grow and retain the EMS workforce in Texas will launch soon on radio, television, print, online and social media.
More information about career opportunities in EMS and scholarships for education and training can be found at dshs.texas.gov/team-texas-ems.