In partnership with the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, the Danville Life Saving Crew – the primary Emergency Medical Services provider for the City of Danville – signed 13 individuals as Virginia’s first Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) registered apprentices during a ceremony on Oct 6. Over the next several months, these 13 apprentices will be fully employed with the Danville Life Saving Crew while they study and practice in a classroom environment in preparation to obtain their Emergency Medical Technician Certification from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. In addition to the National Registry certification, each person completing the program will obtain their Journeyworker Credential from the State Apprenticeship Agency. The EMT apprenticeship program is one year, which equates to 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.
“IALR is proud to work with the Danville Life Saving Crew to facilitate the development and launch of the first Registered EMT Apprenticeship program in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In a time when emergency service providers around the country are struggling to hire and retain qualified personnel, this apprenticeship program will increase the number of trained and qualified EMTs for the Danville Life Saving Crew. This innovative program represents a milestone in IALR’s goal to expand talent through registered apprenticeship and demonstrates how apprenticeships can be used to develop skilled workers in non-traditional sectors.” — Natori Neal, Apprenticeship Coordinator for IALR, a Virginia Division of Registered Apprenticeship Intermediary and program sponsor
“This EMT apprenticeship program will benefit the participants by providing mandatory training for an EMT position. Adding a cohort of new EMTs like this enables the Danville Life Saving Crew to grow its team and provide qualified emergency medical personnel for our community. “The Crew piloted this program in 2022 before beginning the process to become registered apprenticeship program sponsors. Working with Tori and the Institute has been easy and successful, and we are very pleased that our program is the first registered EMT apprenticeship program in Virginia.” — Johnny Mills, CEO of the Danville Life Saving Crew
Virginia registered apprenticeship programs require a mix of on-the-job training and related technical instruction (RTI). For this program, the RTI will be front-loaded into the first 10 weeks and provided by the Danville Area Training Center. After completing classwork and waiting for their EMT exam date, the apprentices will work as a third person on an Emergency Response Vehicle. After passing their exam, the apprentices will be certified EMT-Basics and can continue on-the-job training with increased duties alongside a mentor. The apprentices will respond to emergency calls, provide basic life support/pre-hospital services to the critically ill and injured, and transport patients to a medical facility, always working in collaboration with and under the direction of other crew members and the incident command.
The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) Division of Registered Apprenticeship approved the Danville Area Training Center as a private RTI provider earlier this year. The apprenticeship program was officially registered with DOLI in April.
After their one-year term, these apprentices will receive their Journeyworker Credential, a portable, nationally recognized credential from the State Apprenticeship Agency that demonstrates mastery of skills and competencies. In addition to the EMT and Journeymen certificates, participants will also earn CPR and Emergency Vehicle Operator Course (EVOC) certifications. After obtaining these certifications, these individuals can then serve as mentors for future EMT apprentices.
Registered apprenticeship is an occupation-specific training model designed to produce highly skilled workers to meet the demands of employers. The model includes a paid job experience for employees that includes a combination of on-the-job training and related technical instruction.
“The Division of Registered Apprenticeship is proud to partner with IALR to increase the reach of registered apprenticeships as a training and career pathway. The registered apprenticeship program with Danville Life Saving Crew demonstrates new ways to utilize the RA model to increase needed emergency credentials. This opportunity to ‘earn while you learn’ will broaden the pool of trained emergency personnel for the Danville area, illustrating why registered apprenticeship is a win for everyone from the DLSC to the citizens whom they will serve.” — Kara Joyce, Registered Apprenticeship Consultant with the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry
Through the Expanding Talent through Registered Apprenticeships (ExTRA) program, IALR has helped establish 18 apprenticeship programs with various companies across Southern Virginia in industries like construction, healthcare and manufacturing. Some of these companies have already hired apprentices to complete those programs, whereas others are working through logistics before beginning to hire apprentices. IALR’s efforts to expand registered apprenticeship programs in Southern Virginia are supported by grants from the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. These grants fund both IALR’s Apprenticeship Coordinator — Natori Neal, who began work in February 2022 — and reimburse eligible RTI costs for employers establishing new registered apprenticeship programs.
IALR’s apprenticeship program is part of the EmPOWER framework, an employer-driven, work-based learning system of programs that systematically connects students to careers through focus areas like career awareness, career exposure and engagement opportunities, and career experience through apprenticeships, internships and other work-based learning programs.
“Working with partners to connect students to careers and prepare Southern Virginia residents for career opportunities is a major focus of IALR. The new, unique Registered EMT Apprenticeship program exemplifies our commitment to workforce development that meets the needs of both the trainees and the employers in the region.” — Jessie Vernon, IALR Advanced Learning Program Manager
The Virginia Career Works West Piedmont Region is partnering to provide supportive services for apprentices in the program, including 50% wage reimbursement to DLSC for 10 weeks. They will also provide monetary incentives to apprentices for reaching certain milestones during the program.
About the Danville Area Training Center
The Danville Area Training Center was established and dedicated in 2003 to provide a regional training facility to the city of Danville and nearby agencies. Today, the Danville Area Training Center (DATC) educates thousands of healthcare providers, EMTs, and community members annually. The DATC offers courses in First Aid and CPR, Basic and Advanced Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Emergency Medical Technician, Vehicle Rescue Awareness and Operations, Emergency Vehicle Operations, Mass Casualty and Traffic Incident Management.
About the Danville Life Saving Crew
Serving the City of Danville and portions of the surrounding counties, the Danville Life Saving Crew employs volunteers and career staff to provide prehospital care. First founded in 1945, the Danville Life Saving Crew’s mission is to be the leader in delivering prehospital care to the sick and injured. It is also their goal to provide superior training to our members and members of other agencies throughout the community.
About the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research serves Virginia as a regional catalyst for economic transformation with applied research, advanced learning, advanced manufacturing, conference center services and economic development efforts. IALR’s primary service area is Southern Virginia, including the counties of Patrick, Henry, Franklin, Pittsylvania, Halifax and Mecklenburg along with the cities of Martinsville and Danville.