VAUGHN — Volunteer fire departments are essential to the communities they serve. Vaughn’s department needs more volunteers but also more EMT and emergency staff.
They are hosting an open house to introduce an EMS course they will be hosting this summer. The course is taught in collaboration with the fire department as well. Assistant fire chief Ken Hanks says the department has 26 volunteers now and would love to double that but says the lack of volunteers prevents them from expanding.
He added that they have gotten interest in the course and are excited to put it on and teach people about the job and how they work with EMT’s.
“We’ve actually picked up a couple volunteers through the EMT course, which is great. You know, it’s an awesome learning experience. EMT’s get to play with the firefighters as we do scenarios with car crashes and extrication and it’s a huge benefit. You can’t put a price tag on it. EMTs are a great asset out here and we need more. We could serve our community much better,” Hanks said.
Classes are not easy to fill as of late, according to Courtney White, a course instructor. She said the last class had 12 students, and that is a big class for her. She hopes to not only expand class sizes, but the number of classes in the state as well.
“From the medical side of things, it is very dire. Montana… we have a very big shortage of EMS personnel right now. It’s just getting people in the class that want to do it and get them out into the field and they can just start seeing what we do. I don’t care about the pay; I don’t care about the hours. It’s all about just connecting with people for me. I’ve been in the EMS family since I was born. My grandma was an EMT, my mom was an EMT, and for me to be able to continue that on, it’s just the greatest thing I could ever do,” White said.
The 13-week course will be held starting June 2 at 6 pm. You can visit their website for more info.