Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for January 27, 2010
EMTs provide vital service to Kane County
Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) play an important role in the health and well being of the citizens of Kane County and its visitors. The EMTs work closely with the police and fire department personnel. When there is a medical incident, a 911 operator dispatches the EMTs to the scene. People’s lives often depend on the quick reaction and competent care of the EMTs. The EMTs assess the patients condition, and when necessary use special equipment to secure the patient for transportation by ambulance to a medical facility.
They usually work in teams of three; one EMT drives while two technicians monitor the patient’s vital signs and provide needed additional care. Arriving at the medical facility, the EMTs help transfer the patient to the emergency room, report their observations and actions to the medical staff, then document what transpired.
The specific responsibilities of EMTs depend on their level of qualification and training. A person must meet the Utah State Bureau of Emergency Medical Services requirements, be 18 years of age or older, submit the applicable fees, a completed application, pass a background investigation, complete a “Declaration of Understanding” and submit to the Bureau.
There are different levels of the four-year certifications. The EMT-Basic consists of Technical, Academic, and Physical Standards.
1) Critical Thinking – ability to make clinical judgment.
2) Problem Solving-able to make a correct tentative diagnosis.
3) Interpersonal – ability to interact with individuals.
4) Communication Skills – verbal and written.
5) Mobility – Physical abilities requiring lifting etc.
6) Motor Skills – CPR, bandaging, splinting, assist in childbirth and much more.
7) Self-Care – Present professional appearance.
8) Hearing – Auditory ability to assess patient’s needs.
9) Visual – Observation determination of scene hazards.
10) Smell – olfactory senses.
11) Tactile – Ability to assess patient’s physical health and dexterity.
12) Temperament – Deals effectively with stress.
On a local level, EMTs are volunteers with other full or part-time jobs. They are not paid for their services, but do get a trip fee. The volunteers submit a monthly schedule with their on-call hours, dates and times available. They carry pagers while on duty.
Stuart Willoughby, Kane County Hospital Ambulance Services Manager, stated there are approximately 65 to 70 EMTs serving Kane County, residing in Kanab, Big Water, Orderville and Cedar Mountain. Training classes are held every other year. The volunteer signs up for a four-year commitment. Willoughby explained there is requirement of 100 volunteer hours within that four-year time frame and recommends committing to at least 25 hours per year. The EMT must re-certify about once every two years.
Kane County Hospital Administrator Sherrie Pandya expressed her thanks to the EMTs for their valuable service saying, “We wouldn’t know what to do without them.”