GREAT FALLS – Great Falls firefighter Adam Jordan has attended class at Great Falls College MSU for almost two months.
“We are in the beginning stages of a sixth month medic program,” Jordan said.
This is the first time Great Falls Fire Rescue and Great Falls College MSU have teamed up for a paramedic program.
Emergency Medical Services Program Director Joel Henderson said Dr. Susan Wolff recognized the need for more paramedics in the Electric City.
“She talked to the fire chief Steve Hester. We talked about doing a paramedic cohort over a shorter period of time,” Henderson said.
While researching, Henderson said he found a program known as a paramedic academy.
“They meet more days a week. Their classes are longer in length. It has be the same amount of material, but it is a more constricted form of doing this class,” Henderson said.
Before they can start the program, students must first be EMT, also known as Basic Life Support, certified, like all firefighters.
“The move to paramedic is the move to advanced life support, ALS care. They can start IVs, they can give medications, they are trained in ECGs on heart rhythms,” Henderson said.
Firefighters can use the knowledge they have already gained on the job for their classroom experience.
“There is a lot of stuff that we have seen already in our careers that experiences this process,” Jordan said.
Soon, the firefighters will be back on the job as paramedics.
Reporting by Margaret DeMarco for MTN News