Hall Mountain Volunteer Fire Department has added a crucial new service to help protect the citizens and travelers within its jurisdiction. Through hard work and dedication of the many volunteers, they now have five licensed EMTs.
“To practice as an EMT, you have to have an EMS Agency to work under. The only other one in the county is the ambulance service,” said Hall Mountain Volunteer Firefighter and EMT Dave Adams.
“Our purpose is not to replace the ambulance at all,” explained Adams. “Our purpose is to augment the ambulance service. Have the patient, all the vitals taken, all the information taken, history and everything else, and treat any life threatening situations that might occur, and then to have them ready to load and go when the ambulance shows up.”
see EMTs, A3
This will greatly benefit people who live or travel up north, since it can take longer for Boundary Ambulance to arrive on scene due to the distance, whereas Hall Mountain Volunteer Firefighters are often much closer.
“Typically, when they call out a medical call, they will call Boundary Ambulance, and then they will call for Hall Mountain to assist,” said Adams. “What we do is that we show up as EMTs, as well as firemen. We can provide EMT level of first aid, prior to the arrival of the ambulance service.”
They are a non-transport service. “The ambulance service has EMTs, as well as paramedics, so they are a much higher level service than what we can provide,” said Adams, explaining that their goal is to have the patient ready to load and go, when the ambulance arrives.
Hall Mountain Volunteer Firefighters Debbie Wright, Allen Gemmrig, Heather Gemmrig, Sandy Steinhagen, and Dave Adams started training early this year, and passed their exam in June. It was a lot of time and hard work for the volunteers, but it was work and time they were glad to give.
“I love being a first responder and want to have as many skills as possible to be able to do the most good on scene,” said Steinhagen. “With us EMTs in the department learning more skills and getting the license to be able to use those skills we can make a significant difference in care for our friends and neighbors.”
For the people who live in the Hall Mountain district, this extra life-saving service, Adams assured, “doesn’t cost them a cent more.”
The Hall Mountain Volunteer Fire Association Ladies Auxiliary raised all the funds to purchase the medical supplies needed, all through their dedication, and the generosity of the community attending their fundraising events.
“I definitely want to give our appreciation for our auxiliary for having the funds available to buy our trauma kits,” said Adams, “and for the fire department board to approve it.”
Even once the EMTs had passed, there was still work to be done.
“We passed our exam in June/July timeframe, and then, because we were not affiliated with an EMS agency, we couldn’t practice the skills that we had learned,” said Adams.
To practice, they were required to get their EMS agency licensed, and one of the requirements for that was to have a medical doctor serve as the medical director for the service.
“We are very fortunate to have Dr. Geyman volunteer his time to take that position as the medical director,” said Adams. “That is really awesome.”
When it finally all came together on Nov. 1, then with just a click of a mouse, they were immediately affiliated with a licensed agency, and their licenses became valid.
“A lot of good people donating their time. It is quite a commitment, both for the training level, to get the training and then the calls at two in the morning and four in the morning,” said Adams. “You use your own gas, your own vehicle, your own time to try to help out the community. And that is what we do. We are there to help out the community at no additional cost.”
With the hard work and dedication of volunteers, our community will now be more prepared, and lives will most likely be saved because of it.