On Saturday, June 1, the City of Melissa Fire Department hosted a regional "Extrication and Immobilization" training day for an EMT class being taught at the department. Students included firefighters from departments in Anna, Melissa, Farmersville, Westminster and Whitewright. Instructors for the day were paramedics and EMTs from Melissa Fire Department.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) calls comprise a majority of the responses made by fire departments today. The EMT class allows the volunteers from these departments the opportunity to improve their knowledge and skills and to provide an improved level of care to the citizens they serve.

The class focused on using the "jaws of life" to gain access to victims of motor vehicle collisions and to properly remove those victims from damaged vehicles. Students rotated through several scenarios, each with its own specific problems designed to challenge the students and allow them to apply various skills they have learned in the class.

Acadian Ambulance was on hand with several units to provide the students with the opportunity to be a "patient" and ride on an ambulance stretcher. The students then practiced caring for someone while in a moving ambulance and learned how to load and unload an EMS stretcher. The Acadian staff also taught the students how they, as first responders, can better assist an EMS crew who arrives to transport the patient.

The EMT class at the Melissa Fire Department continues through the end of July when the students will graduate and take their certification exams. After passing their exam, students will be certified by the Texas Department of State Health Services and then be allowed by their respective Medical Director to utilize their new knowledge and skills.

To learn more about the training offered at the Melissa Fire Department, contact Deputy Chief Mike Calvert at (972) 837-1268 or mcalvert@cityofmelissa.com.