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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) –

Six Cleveland EMS Paramedics have joined the current Cleveland Fire Academy class.  The five men and one woman, join the class as part of the city’s ongoing plan to merge the Fire Department and EMS. After completing training they will be qualified for the dual role, firefighter-paramedic.

“They were chosen out of 30, and they are very enthusiastic about the opportunity to train with the Division of Fire, they understand the challenge before them and also understand they are laying the groundwork for many more classes to come,” said acting EMS Commissioner Nicole Carlton.

The EMS cadets are joining the current Fire Academy class about seven weeks into training, but all six have already meet state minimum qualifications to work as firefighters in Ohio.

“They will be for a lack of a better term Clevelandized, to make sure they are operational within our division and our policies and how we operate,” said Battalion Chief Sean DeCrane.

The city of Cleveland’s overriding goal of the merger is to build on the strengths of both departments and at the same time eliminate some of the jobs that overlap.

After graduation the cadets will go back to their jobs with EMS pending formation of a dual role position in the Fire Department.  Firefighters Union President Frank Szabo, however, says there is no agreement between the city and the union as to how the merger will proceed.

The union is pushing for a comprehensive agreement, rather than a piece by piece agreement moving forward.  They are hoping the city negotiates in good faith.

SOURCE: 19ActionNews.com

Article and Picture Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News

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