WHITE DEER, TX (KFDA) - Now that White Deer EMS has two advanced EMT’s, the ambulance trucks they use have been upgraded as well.
However, Advanced EMT Josh Cook said for a small EMS run only by volunteers, getting the education necessary to go above the basic level is far from easy.
“AC has a great program but the problem with AC’s program is that you have to be a full-time student, they don’t have a night course,” he said. “And so for somebody like me that has a full time job, it’s just not practical.”
He took a six-month course provided by Clarendon EMS while Jacob Clifton, who also works full-time for Canadian EMS, went through Hemphill County for his certification.
With Advanced Life Support capability, White Deer EMS can now do more for patients in life and death situations.
“We can start IV’s and give more medications and provide some more advanced airway management for patients. At all levels you can take care of somebody and provide high quality patient care, but there’s just more tricks and more tools in the toolbox that we were allowed to do being able to upgrade,” said Clifton.
This also means not having to rely on surrounding communities for immediate ALS assistance.
“We’ll be able to offer that now and won’t have to take surrounding departments away," said Cook. "Because we rely heavily on some of our surrounding departments for ALS capability, well, that leaves their town with one less truck because they’ve had to come to White Deer and help us. So, we’re happy to be able to help and maybe help those communities be better served as well.”
Clifton said he’s currently taking classes to progress even further and become a paramedic to better serve the White Deer community.
“I have a passion to take care of patients in whatever capacity that may be and I want to be the best that I can at that and provide the highest level of care possible,” he said.
“It’s not easy. Whether you’re volunteer or paid in EMS, you still have to go through the same classes so it’s the same hours you’re putting in," said Clifton. “We just do it for free because we understand that we have to do this for our community and these are the people we’re here to serve. That’s what it’s about.”