During the week of Jan. 15- 19, emergency medical responders and medical personnel from throughout the 153rd Airlift Wing participated in the wing’s first Emergency Medical Technician refresher course.
These airmen included medical personnel with the 187th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, the 153rd Medical Group, and firefighters with the 153rd Civil Engineer Squadron. Each of these members are required to maintain the EMT national certificate based on their Air Force Specialty Code.
In order to maintain this certificate, members must have a current state EMT license and successfully complete a state-approved EMT refresher course every two years.
“We are mandated to maintain this certificate,” said Master Sgt. Michael Hensala, Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron health systems specialist and EMT refresher course lead instructor.
This is the first time the course has been facilitated at the wing and allowed for 20 airmen, most of whom were drill status guardsmen, to receive the training needed to maintain this certificate.
“This refresher ensures we have the ability to take care of members within the wing and even within the community, if we are called upon,” Hensala said.
Over the course of a week, airmen spent a total of 30 hours in classroom instruction paired with 10 hours of hands-on experience. Various topics were covered during the course and included out of hospital emergency medical response as well as the skills necessary to stabilize patients in non-emergency to life threatening situations.
“This training was about how a body can get hurt and how we can put it back together,” Hensala said.
At the end of the course, students had to take a cognitive written exam, followed by a psychomotor practical exam.
“Anyone can take in knowledge,” Hensala said. “This training says ‘Hey, can you apply this knowledge and actually take care of a human body?’”
For members, having this training held at the wing proved to be valuable.
“I think this refresher was beneficial,” said Senior Airman Caitlyn Frazier, 153rd Medical Group health technician. “Not only did I need it to complete a mandatory requirement for my position, but with the new recertification course it was really nice to see how the regular EMT tasks lined up with my daily medic tasks. It painted a much clearer picture.”
In the future, the wing plans on offering this refresher twice a year to allow members who require this certificate to remain current and continue to perform their mission as medical personnel and first responders.
“These skills are the mission,” Hensala said. “Taking care of people is as mission as it gets.”