MINOT — Each year during the third full week in May, the country recognizes National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week to honor all the first responders and medical professionals who dedicate their lives to saving ours. This year’s theme, “Rising to the Challenge,” reminds us that first responders are faced with challenges every day and yet they continue to provide lifesaving services on medicine’s frontline.
“We have roughly 50 crew members on our ground ambulance service and 30 crew members on our air ambulance service, which include a combination of emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and nurses,” said Amy Thomas, director of Transport Services. “The environment our crews have worked in the last two years speaks to their professionalism, commitment and readiness to serve the community, despite many unique challenges.”
To commemorate EMS week, the First Response crew has planned the following community activities:
Saturday, May 14, Appreciation Day: 8-11 a.m., Ryan Honda, 3701 S. Broadway. This event, hosted by Ryan Family Dealerships, is raising funds for a ground ambulance. Stop by for free coffee and donuts; register for Traeger grills, yeti coolers and a $1,000 gift card, while you visit with the air and ground crew and kick tires on a different sort of vehicle. Free will donation.
Wednesday, May 18, EMS Education for Children Day: EMS staff have partnered with second graders in a city-wide educational coloring contest. On this day, one lucky winner will get a ride to remember as he or she is transported home from school by ambulance.
Thursday, May 19, Save a Life Day: 7:30-10:30 a.m., Minot Family YMCA, 3515 16th Street S.W.
The EMS team will be onsite to conduct blood pressure checks and teach Stop the Bleed® and Hands Only CPR. Free and open to the public.
Trinity Health First Response includes fixed- and rotor – wing air ambulance, ground ambulance, First Call dispatch Center and EMS Education. It is the region’s largest Advanced Life Support provider and serves local and rural communities within a 2,000 square mile radius. Transportation includes a fleet of five ambulances and one transport van for non-emergent calls. The First Response helicopter can transport within a 150-mile radius; a fixed wing King Air 90 based in Minot and a King Air 200 based in Williston can transport patients anywhere in the United States.
First Call dispatch center receives and coordinates all incoming radio and telephone communications concerning air/ground medical transport, as well as provider consults and requests for transfers to Trinity Hospital from other facilities. In 2021, EMS crews provided 520 flights and responded to over 11,000 calls.
First Response EMS Education teaches a variety of EMS classes designed for Emergency Medical Responders (EMR), Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), as well as Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians (AEMT) and Paramedics. These responders may be the difference between life and death during an emergency, especially in rural communities with little or no local healthcare.
EMS education also plays an important role as a trusted source of information on illness and injury prevention; education for the public on first aid care including how to control a bleeding injury, how to perform CPR and how to use an AED; and information and guidance on how to prepare for disasters.
Tami Petersen-Ness, EMS education coordinator, schedules and provides monthly training for healthcare providers and general public alike. Petersen-Ness says attendees may include “civilians, EMS personnel, medical personnel, daycare providers, rural fire fighters and police, industrial workers, volunteers and students. There is a national shortage of EMS workers, especially in small, rural communities,” she added. “Everybody who participates in a class – regardless of skill level - becomes an important asset to the livelihood of the community.”
Throughout 2021, First Response EMS Education provided more than 100 classes and trained approximately 1,300 participants. To learn more about First Response visit: First Response - Trinity Health