Hall Ambulance needed EMTs. WIB acted as their first responder for recruitment.

If one sound could define the year of 2020, an ambulance siren would take the prize. As COVID spread, EMTs and paramedics became the face of the pandemic’s frontline. In a time when the term “essential worker” dominated our lexicon, EMTs came to represent the most essential of the essential workers: the key cog in the American emergency response.

One problem persisted — not enough EMTs existed to meet the current surge of demand.

Hall Ambulance sought to reverse that trend. Even before the pandemic, Hall Ambulance was a leader in ambulance services, serving 88 percent of Kern County’s population as its exclusive 911 paramedic provider. The company also sponsored a long-standing EMT academy, accredited through a local community college, which trained the next generation of paramedics. This June, they celebrated their 38th Academy.

Still, Hall Ambulance met roadblocks.

Even with all of their achievements and resources, Hall Ambulance still needed help attracting applicants to the academy. Beth Cornell, Hall Ambulance’s HR specialist, emphasized that many qualified candidates didn’t realize their own eligibility, because “most people think you need a four year degree to do this job.” Aspiring EMTs could earn a new job skill through a six week program, as long as they make a commitment to their coursework.

When WIB stepped in to help, they immediately turned to Facebook to boost Hall Ambulance’s exposure. Traditionally, a WIB employee would describe available jobs in the area for jobseekers in a regular Facebook Live event. Hall Ambulance’s Beth Cornell’s thought of another idea: what if “employers [could] come and talk on your Facebook Live?”

And with that, Hall Ambulance became the first employee to hop on WIB’s Live to directly advertise and describe their EMT academy opportunities to prospective students and hires.

Speaking to other employers seeking first-time hiring assistance of their own, Hall Ambulance didn’t hold back their praise:

“I would say just go for it, because they're trained and designed to work with employers who don't have a lot of experience.”