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  • Last modified 18 days ago (Jan. 31, 2018)

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EMS students study to save lives

Staff writer

It was cheers and jeers Friday evening when emergency medical technician students took an electronic quiz with questions and answers displayed on a screen at the front of the room.

Kevin Shields, Adam Makovec, Bryce Naerebout, Kaycee Chermak, Evan Slater, and Brandy Hanson had seconds to answer multiple-choice questions on the screen by choosing the color-matched answer on their computer screen.

Sometimes their answers were accepted while they were trying to hit a different box — hence the cheers and jeers.

The quiz system, which works rather like a video game, would do things like change their login name, renaming one “Comeback Kid” when he got a right answer after a wrong answer.

The class is being taught at Tabor College by EMS director Ed Debesis and paramedic Josh Clevenger, assigned to the Marion ambulance station.

Friday’s lesson began with anatomical terms, discussion of what each major body system does, and how it interacts with other systems.

“Guys, this is very important to know, not only when you are testing, but when you are working in the back of an ambulance, so I suggest you learn a lot about this,” Clevenger said as he displayed parts of the digestive system.

Shields, formerly with Pottawatomie County Fire Department, is now a member of Lincolnville Fire Department. He enrolled for the class to enhance his skills as a firefighter and also to upgrade his knowledge.

Makovec, a volunteer with both Lost Springs and Lincolnville fire departments, wants EMT certification to pursue a full-time career as a firefighter.

So far he loves the class, he said.

“They are good instructors,” Makovec said.

The course is the first offered by Debesis and Clevinger. Because it’s the first class Debesis and Clevinger have taught, a proctor observed to ensure the teaching.

Having local certified instructors will make it easier for county residents to take EMT classes by saving them from having to drive elsewhere.

Class graduates who successfully pass a test to become certified EMTs could become volunteer EMTs or first responders for Marion County EMS. The county service has no formal job openings at this time.

“Ultimately they could get a full time job somewhere,” Debesis said. “It’s a career.”

Successful graduates can also pursue a full-time firefighting career.

“If they want to go into career firefighting they have to know EMT or higher,” Debesis said.

Last modified Jan. 31, 2018

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