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Jan

6

Paramedic students eager to learn and serve as pandemic continues

Elizabethtown, NY - On January 8, twenty-five students will join the third class of the University of Vermont Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital Paramedic Education Program. During the 15-month program, students build on their Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training to become certified at the highest level of prehospital care.

“It’s clear these students are responding to the call to serve,” said Elizabethtown Community Hospital Paramedic Education Program Director Bruce Barry. “As EMTs, they are already on the front lines of the pandemic and they are not shying away from taking the next challenging step to advance their skills. Paramedics are a highly-skilled extension of hospital care prepared to respond to a range of emergencies and save lives.”

For Laura Sells-Doyle, president of the Elizabethtown Community Hospital Auxiliary, supporting paramedic students has been a priority since the program began in 2018. “We are so fortunate to have this level of training available in our rural region, and to have students dedicated to serving their communities,” said Sells-Doyle. “In an emergency, these folks answer the call, day or night, and never know what they will encounter. We depend on their courage and skill, and are grateful for their commitment.”

The Elizabethtown Community Hospital Auxiliary awarded a total of $5,000 in scholarships toward the cost of tuition to the following recipients:

· John Cook, of Granville, New York, who has been involved with the Granville Rescue Squad for ten years. He was awarded the Preservation of Life Award and the Medal of Valor from the Vermont State Department of Corrections for saving a civilian woman involved in a car accident.

· Sierra Frye, of Malone, New York, who is a full-time EMT at the UVM Health Network - Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital and Bangor Fire Department volunteer.

· Brian Glasser, of Pleasant Valley, New York, who works for Empire Ambulance and has volunteered for six years with Bolton EMS.

· Matt Levenson, of Wilmington, New York, who has served for 25 years in pre-hospital emergency care as an EMT, ski patrol, AEMT, and as part of the Wilmington Fire and Rescue backcountry and swiftwater rescue teams.

“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was clearly a need for more paramedics in the North Country,” said Barry. “Thanks to the support of Elizabethtown Community Hospital, the hospital auxiliary, and the emergency services organizations across the region who support hands-on training, we are working to meet that need. More than 50 students have enrolled in this course since it began and we look forward to seeing that number continue to grow.”

According to Barry, the incoming paramedic education class includes students from seven counties across Northern New York, many of whom work full- or part-time. The course was designed to be accessible to and affordable for busy students across the large geographic region. Instructors host classes online and in classroom locations in Lewis, Potsdam, and Queensbury, New York.

Through their studies and more than 1,000 hours of hands-on training, students develop the skills necessary to perform life-saving procedures such as administering medications orally or intravenously; performing airway management; and resuscitating and supporting patients with heart attacks and traumatic injuries. The program, developed to address a shortage of local paramedic education opportunities, is the region’s first New York State Department of Health accredited program. Learn more about the paramedic education program at ECH.org.

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