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EMT students graduate from training course

Fifteen students graduated from the EMT training course on Thursday afternoon. The students will now be tested on a national level and state level before becoming certified EMTs.

The course was offered by Decatur County Fire and Rescue and instructed by Jamie Earp.

“It exceeded all expectations,” Earp said. “We had over 80 apply for the positions, of which we selected 20 and these 15 have passed all the material.”

The course was conducted twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays for approximately 3.5 months. Each class lasted eight hours and would consist of half a day of lecture, before ending the other half of the day with hands on experience.

During the hands on experience, students would practice wound packaging, trauma assessment and other necessary treatments to be prepared in the field.

Upon completing all of the mandatory lectures and trainings, students can now opt to attend the EMS advanced course in January.

The advanced course will allow the current EMTs who just graduated to perform a higher level of care and be applicable for a higher role in the EMT field.

To celebrate the graduation of these students and their hard work, Five Star Credit Union provided the students and instructors with lunch from Chick-fil-A.

“We had been working with Five Star for about two months,” Earp said. “We were torn about hosting a graduation ceremony with COVID-19 going on, so we reached out to Five Star about providing a meal instead, which they were happy to do.”

Earp’s hope is that COVID-19 will slow down and allow for the students to have a complete graduation ceremony after the advanced course is over.

“I want people to be able to actually come and watch their family member graduate from something that is important to them,” Earp said.

The age of the graduates ranged from 18-55. Originally, Earp targeted any age person who wanted a change in their life in a way that was monetarily feasible, especially for those who may have families they needed to provide for. He said he was surprised when those as young as 18 applied, but he was glad to see the youth.

Earp finished by saying his hope is in the advanced class, they continue to have a wide range of ages and success.