Submitted by Bill Socwell
The Munich Ambulance Service is urgently seeking volunteers who wish to become Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and join the ambulance squad. EMTs are also needed for first response in outlying areas of the district such as Sarles, Calvin, Clyde, Calio and Alsen. Along with the Ambulance Service, each volunteer Fire Dept. should have a couple EMTs on the squad to care for their firefighters. The Munich Ambulance Service can help with that need.
“This is your opportunity to learn valuable skills that not only benefit your community but your family. Most of our EMTs will confirm that they use the skills they learned as an EMT more in their personal life than on actual calls,” Bill Socwell, Squad Leader of the Munich Ambulance, said. “We need to increase our numbers if we are to continue to exist as an ambulance service,” Socwell said.
Munich Ambulance is a well-funded volunteer ambulance service that needs people willing to give up some time. It is a commitment but one that will give back more than it takes. If they do not have enough EMTs, they would lose their license and be legally prohibited from transporting patients. That would make residents of the Munich Ambulance district dependent upon ambulance services that are over 40 miles away.
“The Munich Ambulance Service will probably not exist as a functional ambulance squad 5 years from now unless we get an influx of new members. Most of the founding members have left or will leave soon,” Socwell said. Some have been on the squad for over 30 years. They had farms and jobs and families, but they stepped forward when they were needed. Now it is time for the next generation to get ready.
“We need anyone who wants to make the commitment of time and work to be an excellent provider of Emergency Medical Services, but we would especially appreciate younger members who will take over for the next generation,” Socwell stated.
It will take a commitment. You will have to do some work and give up some time. Being an EMS volunteer is more that just a hobby. It is an avocation and can be a lifestyle. You become part of something that is greater than any one person. You will have bad moments and good times. You will learn things about yourself and your world. You will have skills that you will use at home as well as on duty.
People will turn to you when they are hurt and scared because you are the one who knows what to do. There is little pay beyond reimbursement for expenses. You do this because you feel good doing it. It is really not for everybody. For those who can do it, if you don’t, who will?
“We have roles for members of all backgrounds, men or women. A variety of skills are needed to maintain the Service,” Socwell said.
Prospective EMTs need to be at least 18 years old by the time they complete the course. The class will take about 26 weeks. Course material is digital/online and can be studied at your convenience. Having computer skills is a bonus, but we can help develop them. EMT students will need to be disciplined about keeping up with the course work.
EMTs are required to complete a hands-on test and written test by the National Registry of EMTs. Training and expenses will be reimbursed for successful EMTs who join the Munich Ambulance Service.
Cavalier County Job Development Authority (CCJDA) has a program where they provide forgivable loans to EMT students. Money is loaned up-front to the student to pay for the class if the student:
• Completes the course
• Passes the state test
• Takes 576 hours of call for a Cavalier County ambulance squad over the course of their first year
If all these requirements are completed, their loan is forgiven, and the student pays nothing. If the student fails to meet requirements they pay the loan back in $100/monthly increments until paid in full. The loan is 0% interest.
“The purpose of this program is to increase the number of volunteers available for Cavalier County ambulance squads. This grant program will allow interested individuals the opportunity to take the training with no up-front cost,” CCJDA Executive Director Shannon Duerr said.
It also allows them an opportunity to have the loan forgiven if they give back to the county by taking call for one of the local ambulance squads. This forgivable loan program is only open to residents of Cavalier County or those who plan to take ambulance call in Cavalier County in the future.
A background check is required by the ND Dept. of Health. A past legal problem does not automatically prevent you from joining.
Material review and hands-on skill classes at the Munich Ambulance Center, once a week. These sessions may be on week days, nights or Saturdays.
EMT students are required to complete several shifts of clinical learning time at a health care facility or ambulance service.
“We will set this up for you,” Socwell said. “We will be hosting an informational meeting to answer questions to sign up those who want to join,” Socwell shared.
For questions or for more information, call the squad leader, Bill Socwell, at 697-5283 OR Rita Wirth at 682-5136.
To view the application for the grant program offered by CCJDA, it is available on the CCJDA website at: www.ccjda.org/current-projects.html