3/27/2014 6:14:00 PM Lifesavers needed EMT training classes begin in April to join Hayfield Ambulance crew
By Tara Lindquist
The Hayfield Ambulance Service is in desperate need of new volunteers to help staff their crew. Right now there are about twenty-five volunteers on the city's ambulance crew but according to Chris Nelson, ambulance director, that isn't enough to fully staff the department.
"We don't have a lot of people that work in town anymore," he explained. "That it makes it difficult to cover the daytime hours." Weekends are equally as challenging to fill. "Everyone is busy," he said. "So we're looking to get new volunteers so our current volunteers aren't stretched quite so thin." He said there are no set required hours that a volunteer must fill in a month but they do hope that they can volunteer to fill about thirty hours a month of being on-call. "Sometimes that isn't possible and then we have those members that are doing a lot more than that."
There are three different roles within the Hayfield Ambulance Service, drivers, emergency medical technicians and emergency medical responders. An EMT must go through 160 hours of training to become certified and an EMR must go through 40 hours of training to get certified.
"We were granted a hardship variance from the state that allows us to staff our crew with EMR's as well EMT's," Nelson explained. "We went through this hardship about five years ago and nearly had to become a First Responders service instead of an Ambulance service because of the lack of volunteers." On a typical ambulance run there is a driver, an EMT and an EMR that staff the ambulance. "We started using drivers instead of using an EMT or EMR to drive the ambulance," Nelson said. "It makes it a lot easier."
There will be a training class for EMT's starting in April and there are still openings in the class if anyone wishes to volunteer. "We're hoping to start filling up the spots available in the class so we can have more volunteers by the time the summer hits so we aren't quite so stretched for volunteers."
To sign up for the class or to get more information you can contact Chris Nelson 507-421-2718