By Crystal Thompson
Ten Hi-Line First Responders recently earned the rank of Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) after successfully completing several written and practical exams spanning a six month period.
The students began training for EMT status in the fall of last year with classes held in Chester. Upon completing the class, the students each served a twelve hour rotation at the Benefis East Emergency Room in Great Falls early this year.
"Some of us got to see some awesome things," EMT Paula Miller said.
On Feb. 24 and 25, the group took the National Registry EMT exam in Kalispell, which included managing and diagnosing five practical scenario stations and completing a 150 question written exam.
"The whole atmosphere was stressful," said Miller, "And waiting for the results was equally stressful."
Six weeks after taking the exams in Kalispell, the students received their results by mail. Natalie Ghekiere, Patty DeVries, Denise Wanken, Penny Walston, Vern Johns, Paula Miller, Chelise Sterner, Bobbi Langel, Carol Gray and Lynn Jurenka all passed the test to become certified EMTs. They will serve Hill and Liberty counties.
The national re-take average for the test is nearly 50 percent; however all ten members of the Hi-Line group were able to pass on their first try. The EMTs are required to have 48 hours of continuing education every two years to remain a nationally registered EMT.