New EMT pre-apprenticeship academy starts this summer

May 7, 2024 | San Diego Community College District

A cost-free Pre-Apprenticeship Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Academy will soon launch at the Educational Cultural Complex in partnership with the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (Cal-JAC) and San Diego College of Continuing Education. The first responder pre-apprentice opportunity marks the first of its kind for Southeastern San Diego. 

Two women in navy blue EMT uniforms in front of a red background and next to a Cal Jac logoBeginning June 17, 2024, San Diego residents 18 and older can earn their EMT completion certificate as a first step toward a career in the fire service. A high school diploma/equivalency and valid driver’s license are required by the academy to apply. Priority will be given to individuals with demonstrated financial need.

Apply to the Cal-Jac Academy

“We are very excited to partner with Cal-JAC in bringing an EMT pre-apprenticeship to Southeast San Diego. The opportunity to participate in an EMT pre-apprenticeship at the Educational Cultural Complex creates equal access for minority populations and for more women to become first responders," said Dr. Tina M. King, College of Continuing Education President. “This also develops a safe and inclusive environment for our Black and brown communities who are historically the most left behind when it comes to emergency response.”

Cal-JAC is a joint labor-management partnership between California Professional Firefighters and the California State Fire Marshal and is the established leader in recruitment, outreach and standardized training for firefighters in California. While new to San Diego, the Cal-JAC academy began in Sacramento and Los Angeles. The six-month pre-apprenticeship EMT academy coming to the Educational Cultural Complex (4343 Ocean View Blvd) opens a pathway toward a career in the fire service; firefighter, paramedic, and emergency dispatcher to name a few. 

In addition to obtaining the skills required of a nationally registered EMT or paramedic academy, cadets will train for the Candidate Physical Ability Test, receive preparatory instruction for the Cal-JAC written exam, and hone their interview skills through the guidance of a firefighter mentor. Successful graduates will earn a place on the Firefighter Candidate Testing Center’s Statewide Eligibility List, which more than 155 California fire departments use for hiring.

“We work hard to make sure that our workforces are reflective of the communities we serve and we know this tuition-free program will be beneficial right here in Southeastern San Diego,” said Robert Logan, Deputy Fire Chief of San Diego Fire-Rescue. “This is not only a great learning opportunity, but a networking opportunity for those who enroll.” 

Overall employment of EMTs and paramedics is projected to grow 5 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 18,100 openings for EMTs and paramedics are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or retire.
In addition to providing free tuition, Cal-JAC will supply uniforms and books as well as support with childcare and travel costs.
To apply or for more information please visit Cal-JAC Academy


Apply through 11:59 p.m. May 12, 2024

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