The St. Maries Ambulance (SMA) crew recently grew in numbers due to the increase of calls in the area.
Director Kristin Compton said that she saw a need to add to her 13-person crew after the amount of calls to the department grew from 2018 to 2019.
She said that SMA saw a great turnout for the EMT classes it offered recently.
“We had an EMT class that had 19 students in it, and we ended up with 10 of those joining the crew,” Ms. Compton said. “From the year 2018 to 2019 we had an increase of 100 calls. That is a pretty big increase.”
The students had to put in 150 hours of study over the nine month long EMT class. Ms. Compton said that students also had to pass a background check as well as pass their National Exams.
Ms. Compton also said that those who want to join the ambulance crew but don't want to be EMTS can apply to be ambulance drivers. Those interested don't need to take the EMT course but must meet other qualifications.
“If you are not wanting to go through the EMT class but want to join the ambulance, we have drivers on our crew,” Ms. Compton said. “To be a driver you must have a current CPR and First Aid License and a clean driving record.”
Ms. Compton also said that increasing the personnel at SMA also takes a lot of weight each member who were stretching themselves thin while trying to keep up with busy schedules while on call.
“An ambulance agency is something that can never have time off. On holidays we still run 24/7. Sick days, we don't get,” Ms. Compton said. “When the number of the crew members are at the low of 13, that burns a lot of people out always having to be on call. 13 crew members covering 168 hours in a week is a lot of time away from your family and loved ones.”
She said that the new crew members are fitting in well with the rest of the staff and have been finishing up the last parts of their training.
“The new crew members are all doing amazing. We just recently released them (new crew members) from their student ride along with an experienced EMT. They have filled in on shifts that our original crew was having to cover and that has given some members free time,” Ms. Compton said. “Our call increase couldn't have come at a better time now that the new crew members are on the roster.”
Those interested in finding out more about joining the SMA crew can call Ms. Compton at 208-245-5304or by emailing her at email@example.com.