National EMS Week highlights EMTs, paramedics

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This week marks National EMS Week, where we recognize EMTs and paramedics alike.

They are there for us when we have a medical emergency.

Allyssa Lewis, a paramedic at Dickinson Ambulance, said, “Who they are, where they are, it doesn’t matter to us.”

This week, we are recognizing all that they do. But what does a day in the life of a paramedic look like?

“We’re able to give certain medications, we’re also able to work a cardiac monitor and evaluate patients out in the field,” said Lewis.

They’re also trained to start IVs on the patients. Their classroom training lasts nine months, followed by some extensive field training.

Now how about an EMT?

David Wallace, Jr., an EMT at Dickinson Ambulance, said, “We’re there to assist the paramedics. When we get on scene, the paramedics got a lot of questions they want to get answered so it ties up a lot of their time on scene with getting the background information, then trying to go the correct path.”

This involves getting vital signs such as breathing rate, blood pressure and pulse.

Now that we know what their shift is like on a daily basis, let’s take a tour of the ambulance with Lewis.

“This is our outside compartment, this is where we keep a lot of backboards.”

And now the inside.

“This is the cardiac monitor like we had talked about earlier. This is something that we can take right on scene.”

“The airway stuff is right up here.”

For those that need fluids: “We do have a heater up here that we’re able to keep our fluids nice and warm, especially for people who have been out in the elements.”

How about medications?

“This is a fridge. It’s locked, it does have some high class medications in here that we carry.”

After a 48 hour shift, it’s time to head home.

Lewis said, “We love what we do.”

The first National EMS Week was declared by President Gerald Ford back in 1974.

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