Leadership at the Excel Academy of South Shore recently held a special ceremony honoring nine high school students, part of the Chicago Public Schools’ Options Network, for their successful completion of Superior Ambulance’s accredited Emergency Medical Responders (EMR) training program. The students each received a certificate and an elective credit.

This impressive achievement for the students marks the second time Excel Academy students were offered enrollment into the EMR program – a 56-hour state approved course taught by certified EMS instructors.

Through the partnership with Excel, Superior provides all textbooks and coursework materials, instructors, equipment including CPR manikins, AED trainers, and various equipment used for hands-on skills. Upon graduation, students are guaranteed employment with Superior, where they provide training for next level positions such as Emergency Medical Technician, ambulance driver and more.

The program is funded as a pilot initiative through CPS’s districtwide Out-of-School-Time (OST) grant. The funding allows for student initiatives, staff out of school support(s), and vendors in the approved capacities of academic enrichment, work-based learning, and mentoring programs.

“This ‘earn and learn’ program not only helps alleviate the ambulance company’s workforce shortage, but provides training an employment for our students,” Dr. Anthony Haley, Jr., Ed.D., executive director​, Excel Academy of South Shore. “We are so proud of them all!”

An EMR possesses the basic knowledge and skills necessary to provide lifesaving interventions while awaiting additional EMS response and can assist higher level personnel at the scene and during transport. They can also perform basic interventions with minimal equipment.

As an accelerated school of choice for students ages 15 to 21 who are behind in their studies, Excel Academy of South Shore offers an extended day, where students can earn up to 5 credits per semester and 10 credits per year, allowing students to graduate in 2.5 years or less.