Aspiring paramedics in Prince George and the region will be able to get the training they need close to home thanks to new funding for the Primary Care Paramedic program. The program is focused on the training of paramedics in British Columbia’s rural communities, with Prince George and Cranbrook as the first beneficiaries. The program will be delivered by the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), and funding will come through an annual investment of $250,000 by the provincial government, which will go to two rural primary care paramedic programs each year. Past investments in Prince George include $138,400 in 2012-13 and $117,000 in 2011-12.
- The Primary Care Paramedic Program will train a total of 30 students, organized as two intakes of 15 students in two rural communities each year.
- The program is designed to help meet current demand for paramedic training in rural areas, including growing demand for paramedics in public and private organizations in these areas.
- The new annual funding for this program will allow JIBC to plan and develop programming to meet the needs of industry and open up training to a wider catchment area.
- In 2012-13, the Ministry of Advanced Education provided one-time funding of $276,800 for rural Primary Care Paramedic programs in Trail and Prince George.
- In 2011-12, the ministry provided one-time funding of $685,500 for rural programs in Port McNeill, Smithers, Dawson Creek, Prince George and Kamloops.
- Since 2001, the provincial government has added over 7,800 spaces in health and medical programs throughout the province with a total investment of almost $1.3 billion in operating and capital funding.
- The Emergency Medical Assistants Education Fund has provided financial support for over 400 paramedic students since it was established in 2007. Preferential consideration is given to Primary Care Paramedic applicants who are willing to practise in rural or remote locations.
- Further information is available at:www.jibc.ca/student-services/financial-aid-awards/emergency-medical-assistant-education-fund-award