Those wanting to join the North Fork Ambulance Association as an EMT need to apply by the Dec. 6 board meeting in order to be considered for NFAA funding for the January class.
The Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class will be held at Delta-Montrose Technical College (DMTC).
This will prepare students to take the exam to be certified by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.
DMTC will offer an accelerated, eight-week daytime class starting in Delta on Jan. 7. A 17-week evening class will also start in Delta on Jan. 7, and in Paonia on Jan. 21. Each class requires additional clinical hours once the classroom time is completed. The daytime class will meet Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The evening classes meet two nights a week from 6 to 9:30 p.m. and every other Saturday. The registration deadline for all three classes is Dec. 14.
In a Nov. 8 letter mailed to citizens and business owners of Paonia and Crawford, Kathy Steckel, NFAA director wrote, "The Paonia and Crawford communities are in serious need of Emergency Medical Technicians and drivers to run on the ambulance in their area. The lack of volunteers is creating a critical and potentially life-threatening situation for our residents and visitors of the North Fork valley. North Fork Ambulance provides Emergency Medical Service as a non-profit, all-volunteer agency with a fleet of five ambulances, state-of-the-art equipment and an excellent training program for our volunteer staff.
"The challenge faced today is there are not enough people to fill the on-call schedule, causing longer response times when an emergency occurs. Response time is critical in any emergency. If an EMT and a driver team cannot be put together when a 911 call goes out in one of our communities, the next nearest available community is then paged to respond, costing valuable time. Without a local crew ready to go, response and travel time adds significantly to the arrival of medical emergency care. To maintain the best response time possible we need more EMTs and drivers."
Tanya Gallob became an EMT because she wants to give back to her community, which has given her a lot of support. "I wanted to be available. The second reason is I have kids. Some of them will be interested in doing something like this and it will be an avenue in and allow them to see the process to volunteer and what it means to give your time to something important," Gallob said. "The third thing, I don't want [the NFAA] to be lost. I want it to stay here [in Crawford]. I think it's important to have someone come from here rather than from 30 miles away."
Gallob started about a year ago. She loved the EMT training. "I'm just now becoming fully involved in the EMT running," she said. She began with NFAA as a driver while she took her training. "I loved it. It's really rewarding."
Gallob says it does require some physical ability to be an EMT, but she has always found that people are very supportive. If people can help, they show up and help.
"There are EMTs in the valley who could start right away," she said. "It takes a certain kind of personality to handle some of the rougher scenes, but it is incredibly rewarding." She noted the NFAA crews come from all kinds of backgrounds, but have learned to handle the emergency situations. "We are very, very supportive of each other. We care immensely for the people we are helping as well as for each other."
Cindy Owen has been with NFAA for three years. She first became an EMT in 1962 because her second son fell out of a second story window in Illinois. He was only 18 months old at the time. Owen realized as she saw her son on the ground that she didn't know what to do. "I decided right then and there that was never going to happen to me again. I was never not going to know what I should do," Owen said. By the way, her son was fine after the fall.
The Owen family moved to Kansas City and she received her EMT certification there. She and her husband were preparing to be missionaries to Ecuador where her medical training would be very much needed.
When she moved to Paonia three years ago, she saw a sign in Hotchkiss that EMTs were needed. She signed up immediately.
A lot of people are afraid they won't be able to lift the cot with a patient. Owen expressed that fear to Richard Kinser of NFAA. He told her she would be surprised at what she could lift, and she has found that to be always true. "I'm not that big and I'm not that strong, so you can do it," she said. "The other thing is you wonder, 'What if I don't know what to do?' But, the training really does kick in at the time you're in a bad scene — and I've been in quite a few bad scenes — your training kicks in and you do what you need to do," Owen said.
"One of my worst calls was when someone fell off a roof," she said. "It was a young kid. He was bad, really bad." He was flown to St. Mary's Hospital. Owen visited him there. Doctors said he would not be able to walk or talk. But today he does both. "So that was in my mind pretty miraculous."
For an application, contact the NFAA office at 872-4303 or download an application from www.northforkambulance.com.blog comments powered by Disqus