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Buffalo is first EWYL program in nation to include formal class on DEI, ‘will serve as blueprint for other classes across the country’
Mayor Byron Brown on Tuesday joined American Medical Response at the graduation of 13 new emergency medical technicians. The EMTs are graduates of AMR’s award-winning “Earn While You Learn” program. This graduating group was the first that included a formal class on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), which was taught by Buffalo’s chief diversity officer, Chantele Thompson.
A press release said, “Buffalo is the first EWYL program in the nation to include a formal class on DEI, and it will serve as a blueprint for other classes across the country. The program started as a pilot in Buffalo in 2018 and has gone on to graduate more than 1100 EMTs across the nation.”
Brown said, “I am very appreciative of AMR’s continued commitment and investment in our city, and it makes me proud to see the ‘Earn While You Learn’ program, that started right here in Buffalo, become a model in other cities across our country. What makes me even more proud is knowing that AMR, like our City of Buffalo, has embraced diversity, equity and inclusion. I’m glad to see AMR, and our city, moving forward towards a more inclusive and just world for all of our citizens.”
“When I started as a paramedic 35 years ago, diversity was not a consideration in workforce development. Everyone looked the same and came from the same background,” said Tom Maxian, president of Global Medical Response’s northeast region. “GMR is committed to building a workforce that not only represents the communities our EMTs and paramedics work, live and play in, but also gives them the opportunity to see the world through career advancement opportunities at the company.”
“It was such an honor to have been chosen to teach AMR’s first DEI class,” Thompson said. “Accessibility and inclusion are crucial parts of the health care system, and I’m very pleased to see AMR’s commitment to fostering an environment where all are respected and represented.”
The graduates were hired by AMR as regular employees before they began their EMT training, and will be eligible for a promotion once they complete the New York state EMT exam. For additional information on “Earn While You Learn” or other career opportunities at AMR, visit www.amr.net.