POMEROY — The Meigs County Emergency Management Agency was filled with smiles, congratulations, clapping and cake last week as recent EMT students accepted diplomas as official graduates of the Meigs County EMS EMT Training Academy.
According to lead instructor and paramedic Jordan Shank, the course began Sept. 16 and ended Jan. 12.
Trainees were required to have 168 total classroom hours, 10 patient assessments and 10 training hours to pass the course. Patient assessments meant that students had to go on calls with registered EMTs and complete paperwork after each run, with Shank grading and providing constructive criticism.
Other assessments included regular tests along with final exams.
“It’s not cut-and-dry questions (on exams), either,” Shank said. “A lot of it is fluff trying to confuse you. They give you this big, long scenario and you only need like three words out of it.”
Overall, students were required to maintain an 80 percent average to receive certification. From there, they can take a form of a state exam administered by Meigs, and once all testing has been completed and a student has passed, they receive a card certifying them as an EMT in Ohio.
Many things for which the certified personnel are trained and are now allowed to do include CPR, training with an Automated External Defibrillator, administering medicine within the ambulance, including aspirin or nitroglycerin during a heart attack, splinting, bandaging, EpiPen administration during an allergic reaction episode, oxygen and other needs during an emergency situation.
While many can work in Meigs County, there’s also a demand for work, whether paid or volunteer, in local areas as well, with many already working or volunteering in Portsmouth and Gallia County, among other locations, Shank said. Some of the graduates are already volunteers.
“There’s quite a few different avenues for work,” he said.
Along with being an exceptional class in terms of performance, Shank said this class was also impressive in terms of its size. While each EMT Academy, typically conducted about once a year, graduates between 13-15 people, Shank said this year’s number of graduates swelled to 21.
He said there will be a few months between this most recent class and the next academy, but that he is proud they can now enter into the health field to assist others.
“They did really well,” he said.
Meigs EMS/911 Director Robbie Jacks, who also helped pass out certificates, echoed Shank’s praise.
“I am proud of my staff and the graduates for their hard work and dedication,” he said. “I am also thankful for the support of the Department of Job and Family Services, who helped us find deserving candidates to complete the class. Because of their partnership, Meigs County has several new EMTs to provide emergency medical service to those in need.”
For more information, visit the Meigs County EMS page on Facebook.