Minn. opens course to cultivate EMS workers
In their continued effort to ensure there are enough people to respond to local emergencies, EMT courses are being offered
By Rian Bosse
Fergus Falls Daily Journal
STEVENS COUNTY, Minn. — In their continued effort to ensure there are enough people to respond to local emergencies, Ringdahl Ambulance Service will offer a Emergency Medical Technician course starting Sept. 5. Teaming up with the Stevens County Ambulance Service, the service is constantly trying to cultivate part-time and full-time workers.
"There's always need for part time EMTs," said Bob Griffith, training coordinator for the Ringdahl and Stevens Ambulance collaboration. "In a service like this, there are a lot of times when you have two or three trucks out. It's nice to have the staff that makes sure you still have coverage."
The challenging course offers several months of training, lecture and demonstration to ready recruits for the entry level position. It continues until December and involves plenty of reading, tests and labs, including a trip to the University of Minnesota-Morris cadaver lab. Despite the difficulty, Griffith said the hands-on work in the course is enjoyable for those interested.
"It's not an easy course," Griffith said. "But it is a fun course. We teach a class at the University of Morris, and a lot of the kids say it's one of their hardest courses, but that it is fun."
Those who complete the course can, and often do, move on to complete practical examinations and receive full national EMT certification and even go on to paramedic training. While Griffith and the ambulance service use the course to grow their staff, reaching out to those who won't enter the field is important as well.
"Some people just take it because they want the knowledge," Griffith said. "The more people we can have educated in the community, whether they go into health services or not, this is information they can use the rest of their life if they come across something or even within their own family. It just helps you react with calmness in an emergency situation."
Ringdahl has offered courses and training for much of its history in the area, and now offers two EMT classes each year. Griffith said it has introduced a number of people in their current staff to the rewards of the service, which is something he enjoys in both training and working as a responder.
"I've always said you can't pay me enough to see the things I see, to hear the things that I hear, and smell the things that I smell," Griffith said. "It's the fact that little old lady smiles at you in the end and you know they appreciate you being there when they are in a really bad spot.
That's what makes me do what I do. That's what makes it fun."
Those interested in taking the course can contact EMS Education at 1-855-88-SAFETY or contact Ringdahl Ambulance Service for more information.
|McClatchy-Tribune News Service|