EMTs earn certificates in class at McCloud Fire Department

Shareen Strauss
New EMTs in Siskiyou County recently completed the six-unit course through College of the Siskiyous at the McCloud Volunteer Fire Department. Shown are: Kaitlyn Griffith, Elizabeth Buckley, Thaddeus Tuiolemoto, Geeia Dexter, instructor Charlie Miller, Mount Shasta Fire Department Battalion Chief Johnathan Duncan, Cody Boone, Steve Boone, Stacy Boone, Kimberly Paul, Mount Shasta Fire Department Captain Marquis Smith, Dominic Poindexter, and instructor and McCloud Fire Department Chief Rick Dexter. Eight of the 11 new EMTs are volunteers with the McCloud Fire Department. By Shareen Strauss

Eleven new Emergency Medical Technicians received their EMT certificates Feb. 21 after completing a six-unit course held through College of the Siskiyous at the McCloud Fire Department.

This 172-hour course began in October and met every Tuesday and Thursday and some weekends.

Outside proctor Sean Prouty, a paramedic with Mountain Medics in Dunsmuir, helped the instructors, McCloud Fire Chief Rick Dexter and McCloud Fire Department Emergency Medical Services Director Charlie Miller.

Prouty said the course is tough, and EMTs work 72-hour shits and tend to have short careers. “EMTs and firefighters have different lifestyles,” he said.

Stacy Boone, who is seeking the experiences needed to pass the test to become an LVN, said she took the EMT course as part of her attempt “to acquire as many medical certificates as possible.” She said, “EMTs now have to take a national registry. They have added a lot more skills since 2003 when I first took this course.” She shows her 41 chapter workbook and student manual that looks to be about 2 ½ inches thick.

This was the first EMT class at the McCloud Fire Department, and more are being planned for the future.

“This benefits our community,” said assistant fire chief Steve Boone. “Having the course taught here made it possible for firefighters to stay in town in case there is a call while taking this class. We have made a lot of changes to the Department. This class is just one of many. We recently acquired 15 new self-contained breathing apparatus, upgraded the leisure room in the department, got a new charging system for the squad, and we now have at least four people on every call. We haven't missed a call in over a year.”

Of the 11 people in EMT class, eight are members of the McCloud Volunteer Fire Department, including Geeia Dexter, who said, “I love working with my teammates. We support each other making sure we are safe in responding to emergencies. This is a very good class. It is a hard class. But we need to do this to better serve our community. The majority of our calls are medical.”

“This class teaches everything you can imagine with sick or injured people,” said Charlie Miller. “Anyone can take this class. McCloud has a need for EMTs, but people take this class for many reasons.”

EMT and advance classes are being offered at College of the Siskiyous’ Weed and Yreka campuses.