Emery County has a need for new EMTs to help carry on the emergency needs in the county. Sheriff LaMar Guymon said, "Emery County has a great team of EMTs but we are getting to the point where a lot of our EMTs are reaching retirement age and we need to look at building the ranks of our EMTs. We would like to encourage people to take the upcoming EMT course and to become certified. Sgt. Martin Wilson will be holding a series of EMT classes in March.
"Our Emery County EMT program came into existence in 1975 with the purchase of our first ambulance. Before that Fausett Mortuary provided ambulance service. This consisted of someone who worked for the funeral home who had first aid training.
"In 1975, Reuben Brasher who worked for Fausett Mortuary and I traveled to Grand Prairie, Texas where we purchased our first ambulance for $19,000. The first ambulance was housed in Castle Dale. From that one ambulance we have grown to where we have; one in Emery, one in Ferron; two in Castle Dale; one in Huntington; and three in Green River. We also have two off-road rescue vehicles, one stationed in Castle Dale and one in Green River.
"These ambulances are staffed by paid volunteers who start on a basic salary of $12 per hour and the intermediate EMTs receive $14 per hour. This is paid while they are out on a call.
"When the EMTs are on call, but not on an active call, they are paid 50 cents per hour to carry their radios with them and to be available should a call come into dispatch. Each service has an EMT supervisor who does the scheduling for their area. In Ferron this is Randy Nielson; Emery-Hazel Cox; Green River-Diane Chandler; Huntington-Jim Gordon; and in Castle Dale-Ken Eley," said Sheriff Guymon.
Sgt. Martin Wilson is the emergency preparedness supervisor for the county and is also very active with the EMT program. He said, "EMTs are required to take 25 training hours each year to remain certified. They also must recertify every four years with a written and practical test."
Sheriff Guymon said, "Since 1975 we have had very competent EMTs and continue with top notch well trained EMTs. Recently our EMTs were involved in the treatment of a young boy involved in a tubing accident at Cleveland Reservoir. We received a letter from Marc Sanderson with LifeFlight where he commented, 'This little guy was given every possible chance of surviving based on the immediate treatment by his family and then your efforts after arrival. Due to your outstanding treatment and incredible airway management, we didn't miss a beat, and continued with resuscitation efforts. Your organization should be proud to have handled this case in the professional manner it was.'
Sgt. Wilson said, "The basic EMT course is 120 hours of instruction and the cost is $650. There are programs available to assist with the basic registration fee. These requests for assistance with that class fee are handled on a case by case basis. You can talk to me or Sheriff Guymon about the fees or to one of the ambulance supervisors. There are ways to get these fees paid, don't let that be an obstacle to taking the class. We also have a grant program for any high school senior that wants to take the EMT class. These grants are given through the state. Parents can help their high school senior take advantage of this grant program by contacting us at 381-2404.
"The EMT basic class will start on March 6 at the Castle Dale Elementary, from 5-10 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays through May 10.
"Participants will need to pass a minimal physical test there is a standard they will have to meet. They must be able to lift 40 pounds and carry it up a flight of stairs. The class is demanding both physically and mentally. It is extremely rewarding to be an EMT and to help people in need.
"Being an EMT would be good for people with flexible schedules. It is a real self-esteem builder. In emergency situations the knowledge and training just kick in and for long time EMTs it's a challenge. You accomplish a task and help someone in need. It's very rewarding. I have been involved with the EMTs for the past 25 years and it just involves you in peoples personal lives. I have people I have helped who wave at me and still talk to me. It's a great reward to know you were there for them when they needed you," said Sgt. Wilson.