NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — This week, North Dakota is giving a special thanks to Emergency Medical Service (EMS) workers in our state — some of the first people who show up when you’re in trouble.

EMS Week highlights this career field full of hard-working men and women. At Trinity Health, there are three EMS role levels: emergency medical technicians, advanced emergency medical technicians, and paramedics.

“Currently, we teach an EMT class here at Trinity Health,” said Trinity Health Paramedic and Educator, Wayne Fahy. “We do two courses a year, they last about five months long. They meet one to two nights a week, and it’s a pretty intense thing. We talk about pathophysiology, anatomy, and then really how to assess and treat the patients that we come across.”

While the job of emergency medical services is to respond to emergencies, staff also has to make sure they stay safe as well. Fahy says this is taught on the class’s very first day.

“Our safety is always gonna come first,” he stated. “If we don’t put our safety first, we’re not going to be there to help people. And so things that we do to protect ourselves, we learn how to manage stress. We learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress. We use proper protecting equipment.”

Fahy also states that EMS personnel are especially important in North Dakota, where many of our state’s residents live in rural areas.

“That’s where emergency care begins,” he continued, “right? If we don’t have EMS, the people that get to you in your home or in that automobile accident — your care’s not going to start til we get to the hospital. And that’s not gonna help patient outcomes. That’s not going to help people get better quicker, or actually survive. And so, having EMS is really crucial.”

For those seeking to make a difference in the health of their community, Fahy says there are many different positions under the EMS umbrella — so it’s more than likely that there is a role that could suit your interests, as well as a place near you in need of EMS workers.

If you’d like to sign up to become an EMT, you can email or call 701-858-6310.