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County EMS offering emergency medical response course

Residents will have the opportunity to help their fellow neighbors or even a family member in an emergency by completing an emergency medical response course that will be offered at Central Fire Station. An introduction on the 40-hour course will be held Monday at 6 p.m. at the fire station located on County Road 1032.

Christopher Ellis, the Lafayette County Emergency Medical Services training coordinator, said there is a need for more first responders to assist with emergency calls in Lafayette County.

“In rural Lafayette County, an ambulance may be too far away to respond immediately, but EMRs can serve as the first response to the emergency and possibly provide patients the only opportunity of surviving life-or-death situations,” Ellis said.

“We have a shortage of volunteers throughout the county for our growing population,” Ellis added, “especially during the daytime hours where there are calls during peak hours.”

Ellis said EMRs provide medical to a patient prior to the arrival of an ambulance.

“The first meeting will be a brief overview of what the course will teach, as well as an opportunity to join LCEMS,” said Ellis.

The class, which is limited to 20 participants, will be taught by North Mississippi Emergency Medical Services Authority and will include cardiopulmonary resuscitation, automated external defibrillator, bandaging, basic anatomy and life support.

Once they’ve completed the free course, participants will be CPR-certified and will be provided communication methods and other equipment to assist in responding to emergency calls and delivering patient care, according to Ellis.

He said the seven-week course will meet twice a week and is usually offered once a year.

“This year we are just trying to recruit and have a full class for our shortfalls,” Ellis said.

He said in order to offer the course for free, the county agency asks for a one year commitment of volunteering.

“We just ask if we pay for the course, then they give us a year commitment to help when they can after they pass the course,” Ellis said.

Those wishing to take the course do not need to have previous knowledge or training to take the course. But they must be at least 18 years of age to become a first responder. Those younger than 18 who complete the course will become certified when they reach legal age.

For more information about the course, email LCEMSEMR@gmail.com