Several of the faces behind the Jones County Ambulance Service are pictured above (L-R): LaTonya Erikson, Brett Anderson, Becca Miller, Greg Boyles, Beth Newbold, Jerry Hatheway, Teresa Hatheway, Kayla O’Dell, Kari Harter, Heath Harter and Tammy Van Dam.

Jones County Ambulance encourages you to get certified

840,669 is the number of volunteer and career EMTs currently registered in the United States. 240 million is 70 percent of the United States’ population and also the number of 911 calls dialed in 2016. If you do the math you will quickly find that the ratio of 911 calls to EMT personnel is 285 to one. Crazy, right? It is safe to state that volunteer men and women are needed and a crucial asset in the emergency medical field.
Local Jones County Paramedic Heath Harter and your Jones County Ambulance Team would like to personally encourage YOU to take a step toward giving back to your community by becoming a registered EMT.
You might be skimming through this article thinking that yes, the numbers are shocking, but this field just isn’t my cup of tea. 
Spoken from Harter himself, “You would be surprised at what you can handle once you have just tried. There is no better feeling than assisting in saving someone’s life.” 
It doesn’t take a certain personality, background or prior skills set. All that it takes is a willing and open mind. If you have been looking for a place to volunteer in your hometown or community, this is the perfect opportunity.
Harter shares that the start date for this EMT Certification Class will be Tuesday, October 10 at 6 p.m. at the ambulance shed in Murdo. Harter would like to see at least six Jones County members committed to completing the course. Individuals interested in signing up can contact Harter at 605-516-0069.
Classes will be held twice weekly, tentatively Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6-9 p.m. for approximately three months or until hours are completed. Certification requires 165 hours of class training, passing a written and hands on test, 10 hours of hands on experience in an ER and 10 patient contacts. Eligible age is 18 years old and no prior medical experience is required. The class book will cost $180 but this fee will be returned to you upon completion of the course and when you join the Jones County Ambulance. Upon passing, you are nationally registered as an EMT and are only required to complete 40 hours of training every two years to remain certified. 
The class will cover teaching of a wide range of topics including but not limited to:
•Basic Knowledge of Human Body
•Patient Assessment
•Airway Management
•Respiratory Emergencies
•Cardiovascular Emergencies
•Behavioral Emergencies
•Infants and Children
•Ambulance Operations
•Advanced Airway
The responsibilities of an EMT include carrying a pager, responding to 911 calls, providing medical care to patients, driving the ambulance when needed and restocking and cleaning the ambulance. There is no schedule or requirements to be an EMT, it is strictly volunteer work; you respond as you are available. 
In speaking with Harter concerning what inspired him to pursue the medical emergency field, he shared, “My main goal was to be a career firefighter and the fire department required me to be EMT certified. I took the course and really enjoyed working in that field. I began working for a paid EMT service shortly after and the community I worked in ended up paying for me to go to paramedic school. I have loved it since. Becoming certified is one of the best things I have ever done. I have now worked in the emergency medical field for 12 years.”
EMT Brett Anderson also shared a testament of his inspiration. “My parents were part of the group of 15-16 people who founded the Jones County Ambulance in Murdo. My parents took the first EMT class offered in Murdo and I followed in their footsteps. I have now worked in the field for 32 years. There is no better feeling than saving someone’s life. If you can be part of that, fabulous!”
Your local emergency response team would like to encourage you to take course, volunteer and ultimately give back to your community. It is a scary realization that if we remain without enough people to run the ambulance in Jones County, the next closest service is in Pierre, an hour away. Our ambulance is an important part of this county, town and community; especially with the interstate being so close. Each and every volunteer plays a role in keeping it running. Please take this opportunity to heart and consider volunteering. Heath Harter can be contacted with any questions at 605-516-0069.

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
Telephone: (605) 859-2516
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