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Tyndall fire’s first EMT course

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The 325th Civil Engineer Squadron hosted Tyndall Air Force Base’s first emergency medical technician course and produced 10 National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician certified firefighters last month.

The introduction of EMT courses to Air Force fire departments is an ongoing initiative designed to increase emergency response capabilities. Coordination of Tyndall’s certification course took nearly two years before the plans were put into action.

“The individuals [selected to complete the course] must be recommended by leadership to attend,” said Staff Sgt. Daniel Norris, 325th CES fire station captain. “The Air Force Civil Engineer Center built the Air Force course and then Mr. Michael Fowler and Tech. Sgt. Joshua Kenney tailored the local training plan to our fire department with the assistance of Tyndall EMT instructors.”

The 30-day iteration of this course consisted of 12 students who participated in classroom activities, daily and weekly comprehension testing and a final exam which included a performance evaluation. Students who passed the NREMT exam became certified as emergency medical technicians.

“In our career field, sharpening our skills and training in all aspects of our job is one of our top priorities,” said Airman 1st Class Braxton Balch, 325th CES firefighter. “Receiving this certification is extremely important as a first responder because it allows us to operate at a higher scope of practice when it comes to medical emergencies.”

Prior to the introduction of this course, Air Force firefighters were limited to certification in CPR and automated external defibrillator for basic life safety. However, firefighters are often times the first responders to arrive on-scene in the event of an emergency.

“It’s important to have firefighters trained to provide medical care,” said Norris. “This course provides a comprehensive knowledge to make better, informed decisions while under pressure to provide expedited care until advanced life support can arrive on-scene.”

The newly certified EMTs will now be able to administer select medications, airway adjuncts, suctioning, stabilization and transport when necessary.

Tyndall continues to pursue innovating the very foundation of its infrastructure along with the training and capabilities of personnel as the base becomes the “Installation of the Future.”

“The addition of EMTs [in the fire department] is a huge benefit to our two-man ambulance crews,” said Staff Sgt. Troy Davidow, 325th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron ambulance services department noncommissioned officer in charge. “Working in emergency settings where you typically have very little time and resources, the ability to have other EMTs on-scene with us who are able to provide the best quality of patient care is extremely valued.”