The medical field is in high demand for qualified candidates to fill many open positions, and North Dakota, with its many rural communities, knows this all to well.
Posted on 9/5/15
By Melissa Anderson
The Langdon Ambulance Service is currently experiencing a shortage of Emergency Medical Technicians or EMTs.
“We need EMTs because there is a shortage, not only here in Langdon and the surrounding areas, but all over ND,” Lindsey Gellner, Ambulance Director/Trauma Coordinator for the Langdon Ambulance Service said
This is a problem all across ND due to lack of volunteers. The ambulance has to be staffed 24/7/365 with at least two EMTs. There has to be people on call for the ambulance 24/7/365 so that means that the less people there are to take call, the more they have to go on a call, putting added pressure on the current squad.
“The hard and scary truth is that without EMTs, rural ambulances in ND are at risk of closing which means longer response times waiting for a neighboring service to respond,” Gellner said.
The Langdon Ambulance is usually staffed with one paramedic to ensure advanced life support services are available to the community as well as one or two EMTs to assist. While paramedics are the main emergency service providers, EMTs play an important role. The difference between the two positions is in the training.
The paramedic course is a much more in depth, teaching advanced life support skills such as medication administration, IVs, and intubation and is typically a one to two year course depending on where the course is taught. The EMT class is between 140-160 hours and teaches basic life support skills such as splinting, back boarding, and bleeding control.
In order to be eligible to work as an EMT on the Langdon Ambulance interested candidates must complete an EMT class and pass both a written and practical test.
“There is an EMT class offered by CCMH that starts September 9th,” Gellner said.
The class will be a combined with Cavalier, Langdon and Walhalla. The majority of the classes will be able to be done over video conferencing at the hospital in Langdon, but there will be some travel to Cavalier.
The cost of the class is $700, but Gellner explained that the cost to attend will be reimbursed through a grant once a candidate passes the tests and is hired by the Langdon Ambulance.
“The EMTs for Langdon Ambulance are paid volunteers so there is really no magic number when there is enough,” Gellner stated.
The duties of an EMT for the Langdon Ambulance include taking calls and responding to 911 calls and transfers, taking care of patients in their time of need and performing skills learned during EMT class.
Those interested in becoming an EMT must be 18 years of age at the time of taking the test upon completion of the course.
For more information or to sign up for the September 9 EMT class, please call Lindsey Gellner at 701-256-6136.