CHOTEAU — Teton County EMS announced they are in need of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT's).
The agency said on Facebook: "We are in need of a few good men and women who are able to give back to their community and help us out. We are very short-staffed and do not want to get to the point we are unable to respond to those needing us in our communities. We are looking for folks in all our surrounding communities of Pendroy, Power, Dutton, Choteau, Fairfield, and Augusta."
Colleen Campbell serves as the Dutton Ambulance Service Crew Chief. She explained the growing need for EMTs, noting that smaller communities have a more difficult time getting EMTs on board.
“It’s a real challenge for the small communities like Dutton," Campbell said. "We have over 400 people in the town, but we have a large geographic area. Currently we have six EMTs, and three of us can run by ourselves. The others are in the student status and just have to be cleared to run by themselves.
Due to this shortage, all of the EMS personnel say they are on call 24/7.
Fairfield Crew Chief Leon Beachy said, “Our day-to-day can change a lot just because some days, you have no calls. This morning, I started off with a call quarter after six. All of us have jobs, real jobs where we work, so you have to balance that, a job and volunteer stuff.”
Campbell expanded upon Beachy's point: “The volunteerism. It’s almost a volunteer position because we do get paid when we’re attending class or responding to a call, but you have to have a sense of volunteerism to serve your community and to give back to your community.”
EMS will hold an informational meeting open to all on August 31 at 6:30 p.m. at Choteau EMS Station (38 First Avenue NW).
According to a Facebook post, "Classes will begin approx. Sept 12 and hopefully end before Christmas.Cost is $250 to cover the textbook costs, payment is required to receive a book. Scholarships are available and can be discussed at the info meeting." For more information, contact EMS at 406-590-3748.
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