Long-time EMT trains next generation to help fill gaps

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — Les Mennenga has been an EMT for over 30 years, however now, 30 years later, he’s in control of getting ready the next generation of Emergency Medical Technicians. Including serving to these six put together for his or her next certification. In a couple of weeks, they may transfer on from being EMT fundamentals to EMT paramedics.

“I’ll be a paramedic. Learn how to do IVs,” Mennenga stated. “What more in depth medical training than what I currently do.”

They are utilizing particular coaching dummies and a ambulance simulator from OSF hospital to simulate actual life conditions. Especially ones that they gained’t see typically within the discipline.

“It’s a great tool that we have all this stuff, it allows us to get the training without necessarily having experience in some of the stuff that we’re learning about,” Mason Tuttle, one of many EMT’s going by Mennenga’s class stated. “You just won’t see it in the field. Yeah, I mean, some of it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to see it.”

All throughout central Illinois, whether or not or not it’s in city, suburban or rural areas, there’s a want for extra EMT’s.

“We’re overworked. Not always the best paid. But the rewarding part is getting the job

People in communities like sherman illinois, just outside of springfield, are waiting 15 minutes on average for ambualnces.
It’s because there are only a handful of manned ambulances that have to cover the entirety of Sangamon County.

It’s an issue every county is facing, and les says he’s only seen the problem grow.

“Lower pay is affected retention. And then there’s recruitment. You know, we’re always trying to recruit more people for agencies, and over time, the call volume is increased for all the agencies, everybody’s got a higher call volume.

The job isn’t for the faint hearted, but there are plenty of opportunities for people to try it out, especially at volunteer fire departments.

“If you have the ability to get on a volunteer department, about everywhere around you, especially if you’re in rural communities, they have volunteer fire departments,” Mennenga stated. “Start there, you can even be in high school and join the cadet program.”

But it’s why courses like his are so necessary.

“When I have these biases, the brand new EMT’s tried to stress that, you know, it’s more than just adrenaline more than the blue light, we can actually make an impact and when that switch happens with them. That’s pretty refreshing,” Mennenga stated.

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