MUSCLE SHOALS, ALA. — Northwest Shoals Community College (NWSCC) officials are hopeful a new state tuition reimbursement program will encourage more volunteers to earn their Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification at the College.

EMS students prepare to load ambulance

Earlier this year, the Alabama Legislature passed and Governor Ivey signed into law Act 2018-524, which created the Volunteer Rescue Student Tuition Reimbursement Program for students who complete an EMT certification program and agree to serve with a volunteer rescue squad or a volunteer fire department in Alabama for at least three years. The new program became available to students in October.

According to NWSCC Emergency Medical Services Director, Chris Demorse, this is a great opportunity for students that want to better serve their community. “I think this will really help area volunteer rescue squads and fire departments that are facing a shortage of volunteers,” said Demorse. “I believe this will encourage more people to obtain lifesaving skills that can be used in the community.”

Also, the program can serve as a gateway into other health related fields.

“We have several students that begin their medical career taking EMT classes, but they continue on after earning their EMT license,” said Mark Simpson, NWSCC Health Studies Division Chairperson. “I have worked with some exceptional nurses that began their career as an EMT.”

For more information about the Volunteer Rescue Student Tuition Reimbursement Program or the NWSCC Emergency Medical Services program, contact Chris Demorse at 256-331-5336 or at