ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A new program at American Medical Response (AMR) Rochester wants to end the emergency medical services (EMS) shortage.

It’s a problem not only affecting the local community, but also the country.

The program is called ‘Earn While You Learn,’ and it pays students to take EMS classes full time.

“The idea is that folks who normally don’t have access to education due to financial constraints can come in and work full time,” course instructor Corey Youelles explained.

He teaches students everything from medical terminology, to how to prepare to arrive at the scene of an emergency. Students attend class five days a week for eight hours and get paid for that time.

Alycia Rodriquez is a student in the class. She’s always had an interest in the medical field, but never thought it was an option financially before now.

“It was a huge motivating thing,” said Rodriquez. “I couldn’t afford to go school, so this allowed me to work and also learn while working.”

The program runs 10 to 12 weeks. Once students graduate, they’re guaranteed a job as an EMT with AMR.

Not having to worry about the job search was what attracted Anton Campbell-Bell to the course.

“Let’s say I didn’t do good on my tests, or even if I did, I’d still have to apply to AMR or different ambulance companies,” Campbell-Bell explained. “I could still get denied, it’s not guaranteed I’d get that job.”

This is the first group of students for the program. AMR plans to continue it, running it a couples times a year.