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Acadian Ambulance, the nation’s largest employee-owned ambulance service, announced a partnership with the Louisiana NAACP to offer full scholarships for Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training in New Orleans and several cities throughout the state. With a nationwide shortage of EMTs and paramedics, Acadian is launching several initiatives to attract people who are interested in a career in EMS.

“We believe this initiative is so much more than workforce development. This is an opportunity for caring individuals to enter a fulfilling and rewarding career in emergency medicine and care for their fellow citizens,” said Acadian Chairman and CEO Richard Zuschlag. “We are grateful to partner with the NAACP to specifically reach out to the African American community to offer these scholarships,” he added.

The initial program will fund 40 full scholarships for EMT students in the New Orleans area, but Acadian plans to immediately expand the initiative to include students in Lake Charles, Houma, Baton Rouge and Alexandria.

“The NAACP Louisiana State Conference is excited to partner with Acadian Ambulance to bring economic development, human development and community development to all parts of Louisiana with the start of this great program. People who are trained and gainfully employed are better able to care for themselves and their families. In doing so, they uplift their communities. This is a win/win for the whole state. And New Orleans is the best place to kick it off,” said Dr. Michael McClanahan, president of the Louisiana NAACP State Conference.

The 14-week online hybrid class offers students the opportunity to continue to work while taking online, on-demand EMT classes. The classes start April 1, are conducted by Acadian’s National EMS Academy and are accredited through the South Louisiana Community College system.

Upon graduating and passing the National Registry exam, the successful candidates will become full-time EMTs. The average starting salary for an Acadian EMT is $35,000, while paramedics earn an average of $63,000 annually. Tuition is typically around $2,000, but Acadian is offering 40 students the chance to receive full scholarships. Acadian offers a similar program for EMTs wishing to attend paramedic school.

“We take great pride in being an inclusive company with a diverse workforce. Since our founding in 1971, the contributions of our African American employees have been, and continue to be, an integral reason for our company’s growth and success, and we offer these scholarships in honor of them,” Zuschlag said.

“As Black History Month comes to a close and we are nearing our 50th anniversary serving the people of Louisiana, we are proud to recognize our African American former and current employees with twenty or more years of service that have greatly impacted, and continue to impact, not only our success but our caring culture at Acadian. As such, we thank the following individuals for their service to our company and our communities: S. K. Antoine, Ray A. Bias, Wade A. Bias, Shannon T. Boudreaux, Cecilia Broussard, Kenneth E. Campbell, Melissa A. Compton, Leroy Cormier, Gregory J. Davis, Shannon E. Dugas, Ronald J. Guillory, Jason Z. Hunt, Mary L. Jackson, Bernard P. Joshua, Charlet K. Joshua, Dexter B. King, Julie Larcart, Joseph, H. Lazare, Hurley LeDay, James R. Living, Cheryl A. Mack, Raymond P. McDowell, Jeffery Moore, Gary J. Mouton, Ronald Perkins, Rita A. Pilette, Reginald Rogers, John H. Scott, Joseph G. Sylvester, Ruby D. Taylor, Demetrius S. Terrick, Crystal E. Thibodeaux, Gilbert J. Vallian, John C. Villery, John M. Williams and Perry R. Williams,” Zuschlag added.

To learn more about Acadian’s EMT scholarship program or to apply for a scholarship, visit AcadianAmbulance.com/NAACP