Shapiro Administration announces $1 Million in tuition assistance for EMS professionals

Acting Secretary of the Department of Health Dr. Debra Bogen recently announced the Shapiro Administration has launched a $1 million tuition assistance program to help recruit and retain Emergency Medical Services (EMS) professionals.

“Emergency medical services professionals are an essential part of the health care system,” said Acting Secretary of Health Dr. Debra Bogen. “Knowing that you will have well-trained and qualified individuals arriving to your door 24/7 in the event of an emergency is a safeguard that we want for all Pennsylvanians. The Shapiro-Davis administration is committed to helping people enter and remain in this vital profession, and this tuition assistance program supports these workforce efforts.”

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Administered by the Department of Health, this program is funded by $1 million from the Fireworks Tax Act each year for the next three years. Pennsylvania residents who obtained a Pennsylvania state certification as an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT), or Paramedic after July 1, 2023, are eligible to have a portion of their tuition reimbursed.

In addition, Pennsylvania licensed EMS agencies are eligible to receive reimbursement of expenses related to recruitment and retention efforts, up to $1,250 per fiscal year.

This tuition reimbursement assistance builds on the Shapiro Administration’s support of Pennsylvania’s EMS industry after securing $20.7 million in the 2023-24 budget to increase mileage rates for ambulance services, ensuring that EMS workers and first responders are properly reimbursed for the critical care they provide. The investment in EMS protects critical access to health care in a state where EMS agencies respond to nearly 24 million 911 calls each year and 26% of the residents live in rural areas.

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More information about how to obtain reimbursement is available at the Department of Health’s website here.

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