Mike Alt, an instructor for RESA 8, recently conducted a 16-hour emergency vehicle operations class at the Upper Tract Training Center.
"While being a medic and assisting with patient care in the patient compartment of an ambulance, I don't want to have to worry whether I am going to have an unsafe trip to the hospital or not," Alt said. "I want to concentrate on patient care while the drivers get us there in a safe and reasonable matter."
The focus of the class was to assist with the demands of being a safer and more efficient apparatus driver whether it is for an ambulance or fire apparatus. The personnel learned that driving is more than just driving an apparatus. Many other responsibilities come with being the operator with duties such as getting personnel to the scenes safe; obtaining equipment from the ambulance such as the cot set up, assisting with lifting and moving patients.
Fire personnel, when assigned to drive the apparatus, have knowledge on trouble-shooting problems, pumping the apparatus and knowing response routes, among others.
"I enjoy teaching various courses because it helps people and it helps me," Alt said. "Families don't have to worry about their loved ones in the ambulance by wondering if the driver is qualified to operate the vehicle in a safe and responsible manner."
Volunteers to be commended for their dedication are Circleville VFD: Harman Bell, Leslie Bell, Jeremy Huffman; South Fork VFD: Daniel Borror, Jonathan Fox and James Trail; Pendleton County ER: James Jennings; and Petersburg VFD; Aaron Bergdoll.
RESA 8 serves the counties of Pendleton, Grant, Hardy, Mineral, Hampshire, Jefferson, Berkeley and Morgan. More information is available at its website www.resa8.org. For more information, call Dave Plume, coordinator of public service training, at 304-267-3595, ext. 112 or 1-800-367-3728, ext. 112.