MIDDLE RIVER, Md. —Changes in emergency medical technician testing is sparking concern about ambulance crew shortages and public safety.
Top state emergency management officials acknowledge there are some challenges. There is a paradox as the number of new EMTs is climbing, but so is the number of candidates who fail the test or have quit in frustration.
Since last year, when the state went to third-party certification tests online, EMT candidates like Cierra O'Conner are struggling to make the grade. O'Conner, who has failed twice, said the test didn't reflect her classroom training.
"I expected to test on the stuff that I learned through the modules test and what I learned through class," O'Conner said.
"Eight-hundred thirty-nine students have gone through the EMT course. Only 35 percent of them, according to the Maryland Fire-Rescue Institute have successfully passed the final exam," said Bill Dousa, chairman of the Maryland State Firemen's Association.