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City of Buffalo Press Releases

Posted on: December 21, 2020

Mayor Brown Joins American Medical Response (AMR) for Launch of 9th ‘Earn While You Learn’ Academy

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BUFFALO, N.Y. - At a time of unprecedented public health and economic challenges, Mayor Byron W. Brown today joined American Medical Response (AMR) to launch the ninth ‘Earn While You Learn’ (EWYL) academy, which allows for trainees to be full-time employees while taking the necessary certification courses to become emergency medical technicians (EMTs).

The innovative program, which piloted in Buffalo in coordination with Mayor Brown and Teamsters Local 449, allows trainees to be full-time employees while taking the necessary certification courses to become EMTs.  The 11-week program has made a career in emergency medical services more accessible, ensuring that a candidate is financially secure while in training. AMR has graduated 156 Buffalo area EMTs since launching the program in 2018. Of those graduates, 49 percent are women and 44 percent are people of color.

As we continue to deal with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, our community’s need for medical first responders has never been greater, and the financial difficulties caused by the pandemic make AMR’s paid training more valuable than ever,” Mayor Byron W. Brown said. “The groundbreaking ‘Earn While You Learn’ program makes careers in emergency medical services more accessible and inclusive. This program opens the door to those who could never have gone through the training without a steady income stream.”

“The call for compassionate caregiving has never been stronger and AMR is beyond thrilled to partner once again with Mayor Brown and the City of Buffalo to launch our ninth academy,” said Timothy Frost, AMR Regional Director for Buffalo. “We are thrilled to offer a way to make a career in EMS more accessible. This program alleviates the income barrier and will allow for more Western New York residents to launch a new, rewarding career.”

Diversity and inclusion are major underpinnings of the program, which was highlighted at a roundtable discussion with Mayor Brown about best practices in creating opportunity this past August. There are 13 students enrolled in the ninth academy, which includes 62% women and 54% people of color.

“Despite the loss of jobs and negative economic impact of COVID-19, we continue to create jobs and inclusive opportunities thanks to partnerships like the one we have with the City of Buffalo and Mayor Brown,” said Thomas Maxian, AMR Regional President. “The ‘Earn While You Learn’ model we created in Buffalo has been one that AMR has been able to implement nationally. It has helped to fill the gap in the EMT shortage and create a pathway to a great career.”

 ‘EWYL’ received a national honor last year from the American Ambulance Association in the best Employee Programs Category. Similar programs have also been launched in Alabama, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee. The 10th ‘EWYL’ academy will start in Buffalo on January 3, 2021. For additional information or to sign up for the academy please visit

About American Medical Response (AMR)

American Medical Response, Inc., America’s leading provider of medical transportation, provides services in 40 states and the District of Columbia. More than 28,000 AMR paramedics, EMTs, RNs and other professionals work together to transport more than 4.8 million patients nationwide each year in critical, emergency and non-emergency situations. AMR also provides fire services through Rural Metro Fire Department, www. For more information about AMR, visit and follow American Medical Response on Facebook @AMR_Social on Twitter and Instagram.

AMR is part of the Global Medical Response family of companies. Global Medical Response, Inc. is the industry-leading air, ground, specialty and residential fire services, and managed medical transportation organization. With more than 38,000 employees, GMR delivers compassionate, quality medical care, primarily in the areas of emergency and patient relocation services in the United States and around the world. For more information, visit

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