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Emergency Medical Classes Teach Local Volunteers
By David Hull


May 17, 2005

Ketchikan, Alaska - The month of May has been a busy time for the members of the North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department, South Tongass Volunteer Fire Department and the Ketchikan Fire Department.

Lt. Jerry Kiffer is finishing up on an Emergency Trauma Technician (ETT) class that will test out this Saturday May 21st at Station 6, 7332 NTH . The Emergency Trauma Technician (ETT) class is a great class and gives the student training in life saving skills and proper patient handling.

jpg Emergency Class Training

Steve Phillips is holding Fred Monrean's head steady while Paul Hook applies a cervical collar to Fred's neck. The collar is used to help stabilize an injured person's head and neck until x-rays can be taken to determine if an injury to the spine has taken place.
Photo by David Hull

The ETT student can attend an Emergency Trauma Technician (ETT) to Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) bridge class later and obtain their EMT Basic certification if they choose. The Emergency Trauma Technician (ETT) class teaches the student what to do until the ambulance arrives and many departments in the interior utilize this class as the level of emergency care they deliver in the field.

In North Tongass the level care is the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) II/III level most of the time and always at the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Basic level. The Ketchikan Fire Department has Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) III/Paramedic level response and the South Tongass Volunteer Fire Department is just starting their EMS response system and will offer the same level of service that North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department does.

jpg ETT students

Theresa Glenz is looking at the ETT skill sheets while Roberta Hull holds the head of Pebbles Hull. These students are practicing their physical assessment skills for the test on Saturday, May 21st.
Photo by David Hull

The Emergency Trauma Technician (ETT) students are:

Liz Hook
Paul Hook
Steve Phillips
Fred Monrean
Romey Edenshaw
Scott Hildebrandt
Wendy Mackie
Jill Giles
Kim Giles
Anna Kiffer
Roberta Hull
Rushcelle "Pebbles" Hull
Chris Christensen
Theresa Glenz

jpg ETT practice session

In this picture Kim Giles (green shirt) is being placed on a long back board to protect her suspected injured spine in this ETT practice scenario. Anna Kiffer (red shirt) is seen explaining to Lt. Jerry Kiffer (back to camera) what steps she will take to make sure Kim is placed successfully on the board. Also pictured are Paul Hook (right), Jill Giles (holding Kim's head) and Fred Monrean.
Photo by David Hull

At South Tongass Volunteer Fire Department, an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) II class will be finishing up on Saturday, May 28th. This class teaches a basic Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) the fundamentals of advanced airway management and starting intravenous (IV) lines and administering emergency medication.

This is an extensive, fast paced class that among other things requires the students to offer up their arms to their fellow students to practice the craft of starting an IV. Once this class is over the students must then complete an orientation with their respective departments before being allowed to function as an Emergency Medical Technician II on an ambulance.

jpg EMT II class

(From right) Andy Tighe, Brian Short and Tracy Strickland discuss Andy's successful IV attempt on Tracy's arm during the EMT II class at the STVFD Station 4.
Photo by David Hull

The Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) students are:

Andy Tighe - NTVFD
Cathy Tighe - NTVFD
Jack Rodgers - NTVFD
Gretchen Skillings - NTVFD
Stacey Francis - STVFD
Brian Short - KFD
Presco Ancheta - KFD
Tracy Strickland - KFD

All of these students are giving of their time to be better trained to render aid to someone injured or ill. They are not being paid to attend the classes. These students best exemplify the Alaskan tradition of Neighbor Helping Neighbor and deserve our thanks.

jpg EMT training

Bill Sharps from Craig watches as Jack Rodgers pulls the steel needle from his arm. The plastic tube is left in the arm to allow the administering of fluids and medication. Sharps was in town to attend the class for continuing education credits.
Photo by David Hull

jpg IV training

Cathy Tighe (with back to camera) is attempting an IV stick on the arm of Gretchen Skillings. In the background, STVFD Assistant Chief Dennis Spurgeon (checkered shirt) offers up his arm to Presco Ancheta seen preparing his own IV attempt.
Photo by David Hull


Editor's Note: David Hull is Chief of the North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department.


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