PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Advanced Medical Transport (AMT) of Central Illinois started its new “Earn While You Learn” program last month.

It’s a response to the labor shortage of first responders like Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT).

Community resource manager at AMT of Central Illinois, Josh Bradshaw, said the pilot program has been successful and expects it to continue.

The program is not like the traditional EMT programs which can take candidates four to five months to complete.

“We’ve condensed it to a very high intensity, short program and we’re actually paying them to be here,” said Bradshaw.

Bradshaw said although the job itself can be stressful, the position brings purpose.

“It’s fulfilling because we get to help people. We go see people on potentially their worst day they ever had and make it better for them,” said Bradshaw.

One student said the shortened program has taught him a lot within his first month.

“This program is amazing. It’s six weeks, but I feel like we learn so much more in six weeks than a prolonged period,” said Freddrick Leather.

Leather said if a person is interested in joining the program, they should go for it.

“Do it. Don’t be scared because it’s worth it,” said Leather.

For more information go to its website.