By News Staff

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A new state law offers free EMT training for volunteer firefighters.

WAAY reported that volunteer firefighters who commit three years of service can get their EMT license and be reimbursed for the course, saving them around $2,000.

“It’s actually provided an avenue for our first responders and rescue units to come and complete the course and get tuition reimbursement with the commitment to serving their community,” Northwest Shoals Community College House Studies Chairperson Mark Simpson said.

Simpson added that rural communities need more EMT-certified firefighters.

“As the population ages, people are calling more for these resources and the need is out there, especially in the remote areas where we don’t have an ambulance service base there,” he said.

Simpson said he hopes the incentive will encourage more people to volunteer.

“It is my hope that this will encourage individuals that are serving in their communities to come back and get this education, then go back and serve our communities, because we need those people,” he said.

NSCC hopes to eventually expand the program to include paramedic training.