Letter to the Editor: Hats off to EMTs
Everyone's aware how priceless emergency medical technicians are to our communities, but there is much more to the story. Few of us consider the personal cost each EMT bears for that service.
EMTs suffer great hardship during disasters. In the Crandall Canyon Mine event Emery County EMT teams have been at the site and at the ready every minute. This means all members are doubling up in order to provide the same dedicated assistance for everyday emergencies.
Our Emery County volunteer EMTs are paid a moderate wage when they are on duty and 50 cents an hour when on call. However, in order to qualify to serve they must pay for their own courses. Uniforms are mandatory, but EMTs must purchase their own. Meetings, trainings, and travel to and from these are not compensated. Each EMT carries a "jump kit" with them everywhere so they can be available to us more quickly, and when they encounter emergencies at off duty times. The kit may include stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, tourniquet, scissors and bandages, splinting items, gloves and face masks. Face masks for CPR are about $10 each and are not reusable. All this is purchased with their own money.
You cannot put a price on the time away from home and jobs. Understanding employers have to schedule around on-call days, and families and babysitters must be at the ready, too.
Support your EMTs.