Richland County Ambulance Service Co-Directors Danielle Bergeron, left, and Lana Watson, are looking for new recruits to take the upcoming EMT training course and join the ambulance service.

Richland County Ambulance Service is looking for compassionate, hard-working, dynamic individuals to become members of its life-saving service. An Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training class will start in early November and will last for three months.

The course includes classroom participation and offers hands-on skills stations that work to develop teamwork skills and prepare students for real life emergency situations.

“We set up stations where the trainees come in and assess the situation, treat and stabilize the simulated patient, and prepare them for transport to the hospital for additional care,” said Danielle Bergeron, co-director of Richland County Ambulance Service. “We try to be as hands on as possible.”

Students also participate in ride alongs and work an ER rotation. EMTs are an essential part of the healthcare system and vital to patient care. The chances of patient survival in a medical emergency situation increases in direct correlation to the speed with which care is administered. Richland County is fortunate to have ambulance services spread throughout the county with ambulances located in Fairview, Lambert, Savage and two in Sidney, and to have more than 40 dedicated volunteers from all four communities. More trained EMTs in a community results in faster response times in emergency situations.

“Our EMS system relies heavily on the continued support of Richland County communities to provide volunteers,” said Lana Watson, co-director of Richland County Ambulance Service. “Due to the large call volume, we are seeking people with the desire to be in the midst of a fast-paced and rewarding opportunity that has a visible impact on our community.”

The on-call schedule for Fairview, Lambert and Savage is accommodating to personal schedules. EMTs that are available when the call comes in are the ones who will respond.

“This schedule is convenient for the EMTs, but we need a lot of volunteers in each community in order to make it work,” Bergeron said.

Leslie Messer of Savage took the EMT course last year.

“One of my bucket list goals is to give back to my community,” Messer said. “I have always admired and respected Emergency Medical Techs, for their commitment to their communities. When the opportunity presented itself to take the EMT class in 2018, I jumped on it. The timing was finally right for me in my busy life.

“Now, one year later, I can honestly say that becoming an EMT is, without a doubt, one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever done. Being able to assist a person, possibly during the worst time of their lives, is so incredible. It’s demanding, stressful, and heartbreaking at times, yet it fulfills my spirit to give back to our community.”

People of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to sign up for the upcoming course. Current EMTs make themselves available to help mentor and answer questions trainees may have. Instructors offer additional skills and practice sessions when needed.

“We really want everyone to succeed and are willing to help in any way we can. The better training that they receive, the stronger our service will be,” Watson said.

Individuals interested in EMT training can call Danielle Bergeron at (406) 488-2105 or email her at Class size is limited, and an application must be filled out and returned by Oct. 25.

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