Partnership Takes Paramedic Training to the Fire Station
Grand Chute Fire Department & FVTC launch on-the-job program
Fox Valley Technical College and Grand Chute Fire Department are teaming up on a unique training program that will enhance emergency response capabilities and promote a healthier work-life balance for Grand Chute firefighters.
Under the new agreement, firefighters will pursue their Emergency Medical Technician - Paramedic licensure while on duty at the fire station, minimizing the need for them to attend class on campus or do coursework when they are not on duty.
Under the accreditation and direction of Fox Valley Technical College, three Grand Chute firefighters are the first to begin the program. They are being taught at the fire station by Grand Chute Fire personnel who are also adjunct instructors at FVTC. The firefighters attend class during a portion of their 48-hour shift, but the training program is nimble enough to allow firefighters and instructors to respond to emergencies as needed.
Grand Chute Fire Department has a mix of EMT-Basic and Paramedic members, but Grand Chute Fire Chief Steve Denzien says his goal is to elevate a majority of the staff to the paramedic level.
“Being a paramedic is the highest level of care that we can provide to our residents and visitors,” Chief Denzien says. “With this program, we are taking a proactive approach to help bolster the EMS and paramedic shortage throughout the fire service. We are also helping our firefighters strengthen their knowledge base, which we can do while promoting a positive work-life balance.”
The partnership is also beneficial to Fox Valley Technical College where the EMT – Paramedic technical diploma is a highly sought-after program.
“The training at Grand Chute Fire will meet all the standards we have for our program,” says Jim Austad, department chair of Fire Protection at FVTC. “They are taking the same courses being taught by our instructors but without them having to physically come to campus. That allows us more capacity on campus to bring in other students interested in the program. This agreement is serving the needs of the fire department, our community and the college.”
After the station's classroom instruction and skill exercises are complete, the firefighters will move on to clinical work in the field and hospital settings. The students should be done in the spring of 2024.
In the News: This new program was recently featured by WBAY-TV.