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County EMS to offer first responder class

Staff writer

Marion County Emergency Medical Service will offer a class for first responders beginning in August.

The duties of a first responder include driving an emergency vehicle, basic fracture management, and other first aid, EMS Director Steve Smith said. Their scope of practice does not include invasive procedures.

In 2013, first responders’ title will change to emergency medical responder, and their scope of practice will slightly increase, Smith said.

Classes are planned for 7 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Becoming a first responder requires 85 hours of training from a licensed instructor.

Emergency medical technicians and paramedics have to be able to trust the person driving the ambulance, paramedic and licensed instructor-coordinator JoAnn Knak said Thursday. That trust is necessary so they can give 100 percent of their attention to caring for their patients.

Students can apply for scholarships to pay for the training. Smith said he has never had a student turned down for a scholarship. Students in Marion County receive high priority because of the county’s rural nature.

Smith needs to know how many plan to take the class by the last week of July so he can order class materials. To enroll in the class, call Smith at (620) 382-3271.

Last modified June 3, 2010

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