By Alan Sorensen
About 20 active members of the Hi-Line EMS Council were in Havre Tuesday to familiarize themselves with the new detention center and the hospital's emergency room.
Among those attending were first responders, first responders ambulance, emergency medical technicians and nurses. All but the first responders are certified to ride in ambulances to and from medical emergencies.
EMT Shelly Warren of Hingham, the volunteer Hi-Line ambulance service's medical officer, has been with the group for about 15 years. She said some of the volunteers and nurses have been with it for 20 and maybe even 30 years.
The most recent additions to the council are five members of the Gildford Colony who recently competed their first responder training. First responders are generally the first people to arrive on the scene of a medical emergency. They are equipped with handheld radios and charged with evaluating the situation and stabilizing patients at the scene until the ambulance crew can arrive.
The Hi-Line EMS Council has just one ambulance to serve the Hill County communities from Kremlin to Inverness. But with recent upgrades in equipment, it is better able to handle most calls.
The council bought some equipment, including a $2,000 automated blood pressure cuff, from a memorial fund from Hingham's Quick Response Unit. It also purchased a $4,000 defibrillator with a donation from the Hi-Line Health Foundation.
The family of long time Rudyard businessman Donald Kline purchased a $3,000 gurney for the ambulance. In a related purchase, the Kline Memorial Fund also provided money for the purchase of four card tables to be used at Rudyard's Red Cross blood drawings.
Kline's daughter Jaye Dee Han, an EMT herself, said the family had intended to use the memorial fund to build a gazebo in Rudyard in Kline's memory, but opted instead to purchase the much needed gurney.
The group also received some additional handheld radios from the county.
The group was given a personal guided tour of Hill County Justice Center's detention area by Sheriff Tim Solomon at 4 p.m. They then headed up to Northern Montana Hospital to meet with their medical supervisor, Dr. David Rydell, for a guided tour of the emergency room area.
Warren said that the first responders and ambulance service volunteers are always ready for emergencies. Calls for their assistance can either be made to 911 or to any of the council members.