When you dial 911 with a medical emergency, you know you need assistance quickly. But what if there are insufficient EMTs to handle the volume of emergency calls?
Seeing a need to address staffing shortages, Bedford County EMS launched a training program with a path to earning an EMT license without attending a university or technical school. However, the upfront cost of joining the training class remained a barrier for some. Heritage South Community Credit Union identified this as an excellent opportunity to help all the members of our community in a meaningful way.
“For many years, we funded a scholarship for graduating seniors in our area,” sid Laura Parham, Heritage South CEO. “With so many larger scholarship programs out there, we asked ourselves, ‘What more can we do that will directly impact our community?'”
After learning about the new EMT program within the county, the credit union decided to go all-in with their support.
“We pay the course tuition in full for the students at the beginning of the course,” said Brett Young, financial analyst at Heritage South and former assistant director of Bedford County EMS. “All that we ask is they are members of our credit union. Some students already are; the rest typically join our credit union immediately. They are incredibly appreciative that we want to support them.”
Thus far, Heritage South has provided full scholarships to two classes of EMTs, resulting in almost 20 students attending the course. The most recent class of students sponsored by the credit union is nearing completion of their training. Many of these students live and work in the rural communities of Middle Tennessee that Heritage South serves, directly benefiting credit union members.
Laura shared with the class, “I hope I never need to call upon your services as an EMT, but I am sure happy that we can be a part of something vital to our community.”
The credit union plans to sponsor an Advanced EMT class later this fall.
The scholarship program also demonstrates Heritage South’s commitment to supporting trade careers. Since its founding as the credit union for Empire Pencil Company in 1957, Heritage South has focused on serving blue-collar workers throughout southern middle Tennessee. Heritage South now serves the counties of Bedford, Marshall, Rutherford, Cannon and Maury, as well as the cities of Tullahoma, Manchester, Fayetteville, Winchester and Decherd.
For more information about Heritage South Community Credit Union, please visit heritagesouth.org. Heritage South Community Credit Union is federally insured by the NCUA and an Equal Housing Lender.
Photo Caption: An EMT class sponsored by Heritage South Community Credit Union stands with instructors.