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EMT Joe Gill For 32 years, Yankton resident Joe Gill has served the Yankton community as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). “All those years ago, I was at the house when my grandpa suffered a stroke,” Gill said. “When the ambulance crew came, I knew a couple of the guys and helped to get him in the ambulance. When they were leaving, one of the crew said, ‘Hey, we’re having a class. Are you interested?” Yes, Gill was interested, and it was a decision he never regretted. He felt the pull to be a volunteer to help family, friends and neighbors with medical emergencies. That was the easy part. Basic requirements have changed over the years but today it includes about 140 hours classroom time, 40 hours in a hospital emergency room, on-call time with a certified ambulance crew and 10vHISVOICEvJANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 In Uniform finally, written and practical testing to pass. And add to that the current requirement of 72 hours continuing education classes every year, it can be quite a load for just a volunteer. Gill said state requirements are going through a change because rural areas are having a hard time keeping EMTs and their certification up to date so less hours may be required for future volunteers. He did note some of the part-time EMTs get a stipend when on call. Gill said Yankton has a very nice program and offers a three to four-hour in-house training session every month at the Yankton EMS Center which is offered to rural EMTS as well. In addition to the monthly sessions, if an EMT attends the state EMT conference every year where training sessions are offered at different locations around the state from year to year, Gill said it’s fairly easy to fulfill the requirements to stay certified. The monthly sessions usually cover the Yankton protocol and standard operating procedures as well as updating methods, reinforcing training and informing members of new medical procedures. The staff usually reviews some calls or difference scenarios are presented and the team discusses how to handle different situations. It includes classroom activities and hands-on training. “It is important for all team members to be on the same page,” Gill said. “It also creates a bond with other team members.” A new addition for EMT training in South Dakota is a rebuilt Recreational Vehicle (RV) which is set up as an ER and can be used for doctors and EMTs. It includes a manniquin with digital capabilities to recreate scenarios for one-to-one medical situations. The ‘body’ has actual heartbeats and pulses and there is an individual giving the staff a

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