August 23, 2019
NICEVILLE, FL – In mid-August, Northwest Florida State College graduated its inaugural class of active first responders who participated in a hybrid Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program. Eight firefighters and eight deputies from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office completed the EMT certification course while simultaneously working their normal shifts.
“These men and women have already shown an immense desire to serve their community,” said Michael Adkinson, Walton County sheriff. “This adds another layer to the services we can provide to our citizens.”
The EMT course typically takes of four to six months to complete, but the hybrid version was condensed into a 10-week course that was comprised of online components and a weekly in-person practical unit.
The first responder students were required to complete 88 hours of clinical work in 60 days. These clinical hours were divided into four, 12-hour shifts on an ambulance and five, eight-hour shifts in an emergency room.
“We are proud to offer a program that supports our area’s first responders,” said Dr. Devin Stephenson, president of Northwest Florida State College. “This Hybrid EMT program is the future of the certification process because it allows working professionals the chance to broaden their career paths while still serving their communities and employer to the best of their ability.”