Dec. 28—THOMASVILLE — A program to cross-train Thomas County firefighters as emergency medical technicians is taking shape.
Seven fire fighters will start a class next week to be trained as EMTs, Emergency Services Director Derrick Ogletree told a county Emergency Services Committee meeting.
Ogletree said there are 14 fire fighters who are not cross-trained.
"I met with all 14 and said, 'hey, this is your chance,'" he said.
New hires to the county fire department must be cross-trained, and County officials had broached the idea of getting that training from Southern Regional Technical College.
"We spoke with Jim Glass at SRTC, spoke with the lead instructors and things started moving," Ogletree said.
Classes will be held every third day, except on Sundays, when fire fighters are on their shifts. Training will take place at the Remington Avenue station's emergency operations center.
"The process will take a little longer," Ogletree said. "However, time is not an issue. We just want to get them trained."
At a November emergency services committee meeting, County Manager Mike Stephenson pointed out that Coweta County does in-house training for its fire fighters to be EMTs and has three full-time instructors on staff. The county looked at a way to provide that training beginning with the end of 2019 but ran into not being able to procure instructors.
The instructor lined up to teach the classes is a full-time employee who recently has completed paramedic school and also teaches classes on survival tactics, Ogletree pointed out.
Ogletree said the fire fighters are very excited to be provided the training and some asked how far will the training go.
"My response is, 'how far do you want to go?'" Ogletree said.
Some of the fire fighters said they wanted to go to paramedic school next, Ogletree added.