Vanessa Hight plays patient to Lacie Campbell and Chris Letellier as they practice spinal immobilization and backboarding skills.Five excited EMT students stop for a picture in front of the Jones County Ambulance after a successful morning of testing. Above (left) is instructor Heath Harter with students Rylee Metzger, Krisanna Thomas, Lacie Campbell, Vanessa Hight and Chris Letellier.Vanessa Hight shown completing the AED - CPR skill station on test day. CPR was one of many skills taught through the EMT class.

Jones County EMT Class wraps up

Shouts of joy could be heard from the Jones County High School on Saturday, February 3 as five EMT students received passing grades on their practical exams!
As part of the certification process students are required to complete and pass seven hands on skill stations. The testing ranges from oxygen administration, medical/trauma patient assessment to spinal immobilization. No longer students, but not yet EMT’s, the class now moves forward to take the National Registry written exam. Upon passing this test, certification will be complete!
Over the past few months you may have noticed a line-up of vehicles every Tuesday and Thursday night outside of the Jones County Ambulance Shed. You might have thought “Wow! The ambulance has been repetitively busy,” or “The shed must be the place to be in town!” good guesses, but no. Local policeman and paramedic Heath Harter, along with several volunteers, began teaching an EMT course in early October. A group of students gathered twice a week to learn the in’s and out’s of the emergency medical field.
Local Lacie Campbell shares that, “Becoming an EMT is something I’ve always wanted to do after several instances occurred over my life where I had to call for help. I remember that feeling of hopelessness not knowing what to do. Now with training, I feel confident I can help someone else in need. Lord willing, I hope to help the community and be a great asset to the EMS service here in Murdo. I want to thank Health and Kari Harter, Brittney Staritt and the rest of the EMS staff for taking the time and having the patience to teach us.”
Each student brought an entirely different background to the class. Some presented with zero experience, others had the common medical knowledge base and some had experience in other emergency response fields. It was neat to watch each student build their confidence and realize that an open mind is simply all that you need to thrive in this field.
Local Rylee Metzger shares that, “Taking this class was easily one of the best things I have ever done. With no prior experience, I was nothing short of a nervous wreck. It didn’t take long for me to get hooked though...I fell in love with it a little more each class. I couldn’t more be excited to volunteer and continue the learning journey in this field.”
The variety of medical knowledge and skill that the class brought to light was truly amazing. Although I believe it’s safe to say that when the book opened to chapter 6 (anatomy and physiology)... several wide sets of eyes scanned the classroom thinking “WHAT are we getting ourselves into?” But from day one our wonderful instructor, Heath, assured everyone that it’s all going to come together. And guess what? He was right, it did. Here we are now, one test down, one to go; and all of us are so thankful for knowledge we have gained, relationships we have built and the opportunity to contribute to an amazing service and community.
Local Vanessa Hight shares that, “I feel it is important to make a contribution to the community. After the Jones County Ambulance was able to save my husband’s heart after he had a heart attack I knew this was one way for me to give back. I hope to be able to help others, and with my training from Heath Harter, I know I will be able to. This experience has been life changing and I encourage others to join the team of EMT’s in Jones County in the future.”
And what would a class be without a clown? Norris, S.D. local Chris Letellier shares that, “I think everyone should have to take this course because when you pass you are allowed to get some really cool pants and scissors.”


The Pioneer Review

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