New York National Guard, NYS Department of Health partner to bolster EMT numbers

In an effort to boost the number of EMTs available to New York during any winter surges of COVID-19, a new training partnership began last week between the New York State Department of Health and the New York National Guard.

While Gov. Kathy Hochul had already deployed 60 National Guard medical teams to long-term care facilities throughout New York at the beginning of December 2021, this partnership will provide two pilot classes of EMT training to increase National Guard personnel with medical training by another 80 people. Beginning January 5, these students will be divided into two classes of 40 and prepared for clinical deployment in February, following 180 hours of training.

“As we fight this surge, we are deploying every resource available to meet the needs of our health care system, and this expedited training partnership will help ensure our most vulnerable patients get the care they need,” Hochul said. “The Department of Health and our New York National Guard have been working side-by-side to fight this pandemic since Day 1, and I am proud to see this innovative plan between the two agencies come to fruition. When times get tough, New Yorkers put their heads together and find solutions.”​

Training will take place at Fort Hamilton Armed Forces Reserve Center and the Farmingdale Armed Forces Reserve Center. Once trained, the personnel could be deployed to areas of need. Additional student-soldiers could be chosen for training if the need demands.

“Our New York National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have been taking on new missions on a regular basis since the start of this pandemic, ranging from delivering meals to running tests sites to helping to administer over four million vaccinations,” Major General Raymond Shields said. “The service members who have volunteered for this training and this mission are looking forward to helping their fellow citizens once again.”

Chris Galford

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