Shift-based scheduling offered for Paramedic training

Mar 2, 2023Gail Crutchfield
EMS Simulation

Wallace State Paramedic students Mia Sims and Cody Thompson participate in a scenario during an October 2022 multidisciplinary simulation in which Wallace State health science students and faculty participate as health care providers, patients and family members to receive training

Hanceville, AL — The Wallace State Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program has implemented new schedules that allow emergency medical technicians who are seeking to become paramedics the convenience of fitting those classes around their work schedule.

In most cases, EMTs are working 24/48 shifts, where they are on duty for 24 hours and off 48 hours. To accommodate their schedules, the Wallace State EMS program has implemented shift-based scheduling for its Paramedic program.

“We have a lot of people working for fire departments or ambulance service workers who work 24 hours shifts – on one day and off two,” said Gregory Lawrence, chair of the Wallace State EMS program. To fit classes into their schedules, they would sometimes have to take personal time off, swap shifts or come during their work hours if allowed by their employer.

“We’ve tried to make it more user friendly,” Lawrence said of the new schedule.

On the shift-based schedule, paramedic students come to classes for six hours two days a week for the three-semester program to complete their paramedic courses.

Lawrence said the response has been positive so far. They doubled the number of students in their paramedic program during this first run of the new schedule. The paramedic program starts students each summer semester and they continue classes through the spring semester.

The shift-based schedules will be on a rotation between the usual A, B and C shifts most fire departments and ambulances services use. The new schedule starting this summer will be on a B shift rotation, to accommodate A and C shifts.

Lawrence said he knows from personal experience how difficult it can be for EMTs to fit college courses into their schedule.

“I worked a 24-hour shift when I was in paramedic school and had to get two part-time jobs,” he said. “It’s tough. I was rarely at home.”

The program is currently taking Paramedic applications for the Summer 2023 semester. Visit for more information or contact Lawrence at 256.352.8335 or

Priority registration for summer and fall semesters will begin April 3, with registration for all students on April 6. Summer 2023 classes begin May 24. Fall 2023 classes begin Aug. 18. For more information, visit, call 256.352.8000 or come by Lion Central in the lobby of the James C. Bailey Center Monday-Wednesday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or Friday 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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