REFRESHER COURSE: First Responders Brush Up Skills

First responders from across the state are getting a refresher course in life-saving skills.  Two dozen EMTs and paramedics brushed up on their training at The Institute For Continuing Medical Education.

“They don’t take care of a lot of pediatric patients or elderly patients so it’s different things they might not see every day so it’s just re-educating.  You know, getting them to think about certain things again,” said paramedic and trainer Jason Sargent.

Many of them keep their skills sharp on the job.  But just to make sure, the state requires them to renew their certifications every two years.  The first responders practiced intubating a patient having trouble breathing.  They also need to know how to get an IV line working by drilling into the bone.

“A lot of it is old information that doesn’t change every year , but it is a good reminder and every year I pick up something that I didn’t know before,” says Becky Knowles.

Knowles has nearly ten years on the job with West Des Moines EMS.

Iowa paramedics are required to have 48 hours of continuing education every two years.  Re-certification for EMTs is anywhere from 24 to 36 hours.

When seconds count, their life-saving skills are put to the test.

“When someone does show up on scene that they know that the person whose taking care of their mother, their father, their son, their daughter is well-trained,” Sargent said.

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