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City of Buffalo Press Releases

Posted on: July 26, 2021

Mayor Brown Joins American Medical Response (AMR) for Graduation of New Class of EMT Trainees

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BUFFALO, NY - At a time of unprecedented public health and staffing challenges, Mayor Byron W. Brown today joined American Medical Response (AMR) at a ceremony for 21 new EMT professionals who graduated from the “Earn While You Learn” (EWYL) Academy in Buffalo.

The graduates took part in AMR’s award-winning “Earn While You Learn” program and were hired as employees and compensated while attending the company’s EMT-Basic Certification course. AMR has graduated more than 200 Buffalo-area EMTs since launching the program in 2018. Of those graduates, 47 percent are women and 53 percent are minorities.

AMR also announced a four-year agreement with the Teamsters 449 to substantially increase wages for Buffalo area EMTs and Paramedics. AMR, the City of Buffalo and the Union worked collaboratively to put into place the largest wage increases the city of Buffalo EMS has ever seen, ranging from 18-33 percent depending on experience.

“When this innovative program was launched in 2018 we had very high hopes for the positive impact of this “Earn While You Learn” opportunity, and through the great partnership between the City of Buffalo, AMR, and Teamsters Local 449, it has exceeded our expectations,” Mayor Brown said. “Today’s announcements take it to the next level at a time when we’re working to expand paid training and well-paying employment opportunities for Buffalo residents and increase the ranks of EMTs as we emerge from the COVID pandemic.”

This is the 15th graduating class since the start of the innovative EWYL program, which was developed in coordination with Mayor Brown and Teamsters Local 449. It is also the first time the company ran dual classes, allowing for students to have the flexibility to choose a day or evening program. The ground-breaking EWYL initiative recruits from across the area and allows trainees to be full-time employees while taking the necessary certification courses to become emergency medical technicians (EMTs). The program has made a career in emergency medical services more accessible, ensuring that a candidate is financially secure while in training.

To address critical EMS shortages facing the area, Global Medical Response President for the Northeast Region Thomas Maxian also announced that AMR would pay existing employees a $2,500 bonus for referring a full-time paramedic and a $15,000 signing bonus to a full-time paramedic who joins the team. Additionally, they will pay tuition and costs for EMTs to attend Advanced EMT or Paramedic school and adjust EMT work schedules to enable EMTs to attend Advance EMT or Paramedic Class.

“We are working hard to create rewarding career paths and opportunities thanks to partnerships like the one we have with the City of Buffalo and Mayor Brown,” Maxian said.

Since launching the EWYL program, AMR has graduated over 500 EMS professionals and has earned national recognition for the program by the American Ambulance Association. Similar programs have also been launched in New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi and Missouri. The program has made a career in emergency medical services more accessible, ensuring that a candidate would be financially stable while training. The next academy will start in Buffalo this fall. 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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