The Justice Institute of B.C. is preparing to offer paramedic training for 15 students starting February 2014 in Cranbrook.
The new program will help to meet current student demand for paramedic training and address the growing demand for paramedics in public and private organizations in rural areas, such as the BC Ambulance Service and the oil and gas industries.
The Ministry of Advanced Education is giving the Justice Institute $250,000 each year to fund the program, which will start off with 15 places in Cranbrook next year and 15 in Prince George.
At the moment, paramedic training is mostly only offered in urban areas, and rural training is run on a one-time basis when required. The government provided one-time funding for those rural sessions, rather than regular annual funding. The program has never been offered in Cranbrook before.
“This new rural paramedic training program will help ensure that we are meeting the growing demand for services while supporting the health of families in rural areas of the province,” said Minister of Health Terry Lake.
“We welcome this announcement,” said Dr. Michel Tarko, president of the Justice Institute of British Columbia. “Ongoing funding gives JIBC, in partnership with BC Ambulance Service, the ability to plan further ahead to meet the needs of rural and remote communities and to ensure that residents are aware of opportunities to pursue paramedic training without leaving their communities.”
“Our Skills and Training Plan aims to ensure that British Columbians have the right mix of skills, in the right places, at the right time,” said Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk.
For more information, visit www.jibc.ca.