As a Next Step Maine employer engaged in Maine Development Foundation’s statewide employers’ initiative working to advance the skills and education of Maine’s workforce, LifeFlight of Maine participated in the fourth annual Next Step Maine Employees of Promise Scholarship Program, nominating their employees for scholarship awards to support the completion of a degree or certificate.

Kyle Santosuosso, flight paramedic, nominated by LifeFlight Executive Director Thomas Judge, received a 2016 Next Step Maine Employee of Promise Scholarship to support his pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in Emergency Medical Services Management at Anna Maria College in Worcester, Mass.

The Next Step Maine Employees of Promise Scholarship is part of the Maine Development Foundation, a private, non-partisan membership organization that drives sustainable, long-term economic growth for the state of Maine.

Santosuosso, who currently holds an associate’s degree in paramedicine from Southern Maine Community College, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree to learn more about the field of EMS, both nationally and internationally. Originally from Sanford, Santosuosso has worked as a paramedic for five years and spent the last two as a flight medic with LifeFlight.

His position at LifeFlight provides a good launching platform for his future endeavors, because not only does he have access to advanced knowledge in emergency medicine, but he also interacts with EMS agencies everywhere in Maine. With this viewpoint, he can see what the EMS system’s existing needs are and how those needs might change in the future.This information, together with the degree, will inform the work Sangosuosso hopes to do to increase the education level of current paramedics and build a stronger EMS system for patients in Maine.

The Next Step Maine program is a free statewide initiative that awards funds to Maine employees who are currently pursuing a bachelor's degree, associate's degree or certificate program. This year’s recipients were selected from 40 employer nominations from a variety of Maine companies and many educational institutions.