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A Successful Career as an EMT Thanks to Philadelphia Job Corps

Brittney Funderburg flips on the lights and siren and heads off to work. She’s an alumna of the Philadelphia Job Corps Life Science Institute where she earned her national certification as emergency medical technician or EMT.

“If I didn’t go to Job Corps,” she says, “I would have never had gone to the EMT program.”

After graduating from Job Corps, she worked for two ambulance companies and then got hired at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Pennsylvania.

“It’s been really interesting. I get to see all types of injuries and medical cases. It’s a chance for me to expand my education and become a more well-rounded EMT.”

Brittney has worked at the hospital for three years, earning a good income. But she has bigger plans for her career. Right now, she’s also working as a volunteer firefighter about a half hour south of Philadelphia at the Sharon Hill Fire Company. She loves it.

“Being in this atmosphere, it’s just something about the camaraderie, I just really found myself drawn to it.”

Being an EMT and volunteer firefighter is a big commitment.

“It is tough. It has its emotional bearings; it weighs a lot on you when you see different situations. You have to have tough skin in this business, but it’s also rewarding to be able to help people.”

Sharon Hill Company Fire Chief Chuck Burk says the experience Brittney is receiving will go a long way in her career.

“The fire service does everything: EMS, fire, HAZMAT, vehicle extrication, fire prevention, public education.”

Brittney’s next career move will be to apply for a job at the Philadelphia Fire Department where she would earn upwards of 80,000 or 90,000 a year.

The chief says not only is he grateful that Brittney chose to volunteer, because volunteer firefighters are dwindling, but he also praises Job Corps for training young people in high-demand fields.

“I think it’s a very good idea because there’s so much emphasis, and I’m not saying this in a bad way, ‘go to college, go to college, go to college.’ But we’re losing a lot of the other basic, good trades, plumbers, electricians, and even this line of work.”