by: Aaron Diamant Updated:
POWDER SPRINGS, Ga. - A local training school for paramedics is now the target of a state investigation. Students say they shelled out thousands of dollars in tuition but can't complete their coursework.
A student at Promedics EMS Academy in Powder Springs tipped off Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant earlier in the week. On Thursday, Diamant confirmed that that student is not the only one who's come forward to complain.
Already a licensed EMT, Jon Merdek of Buckhead wanted to take his career to the next level.
"I was expecting to become a
nationally certified paramedic within six-months," Merdek said.
After seeing an online ad, Merdek signed up with Promedics EMS Academy and shelled out $5,000 for its six-month paramedic training program.
"At first it seemed very legit," Merdek recalled.
More than a year later, Merdek said he's been unable to set up the hands-on portions of his training through the school, and he's not the only one having problems. Now the state is stepping in.
"The red flags were that there were a large number of individuals who were complaining to us and who were concerned that they were out a lot of money," said Dr. Patrick O'Neal, Georgia Department of Public Health's director of health protection.
DPH investigators are now doing a top to bottom review of the school's programs.
Diamant tracked down school owner Melvin Teet. Teet blamed the delays on state evaluators, who he said keep changing the rules.
"I would complain, but the state Office of EMS is the culprit here, it's not me. I'm doing everything that's right and as properly and as fast as I can," Teet said.
Teet claimed the state is trying to force him out of business, Diamant asked Teet why he feels the state is making this personal.
"I have no other logical reason why this would be," Teet responded.
Teet said he recently let go all 12 of the school's employees. Still, right now, nearly two dozen students are enrolled.
When Diamant asked him if he'd offer refunds to unhappy students, he said he simply doesn't have the money. Channel 2 Action News will continue to follow this story.