RCFD takes a step forward in their care for people
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - A shortage of emergency medical technicians across South Dakota can make life-saving care harder to provide but the Rapid City Fire Department is working to combat the shortage with their new certification program.
All Rapid City Fire Department firefighters are trained as basic EMTs. RCFD is taking a step forward by certifying firefighters as Advanced EMTs.
This cutting-edge certification will allow first responders to provide better care to people. The training includes starting IVs and administering advanced medication, something firefighters can’t do with a basic EMT certification.
“Right now, we have 60 paramedics. This will add into that so, an advanced provider will be able to be on almost every apparatus we own. Also, it helps out our employees in spreading out that workload. So, no matter where you’re at within the city or in the 22,000 miles that we cover in the county, you’ll have an advanced provider,” said Fire Chief Jason Culberson with the Rapid City Fire Department.
Culberson says that the goal is to have 100% of the department certified within the next five years.
Morgan Helton is currently working to earn her advanced EMT certification. She says it’s important to gain these skills because calls for medical services dominate their call volume.
“We’re doing this stuff every day; this is 80% of our calls. So, we need to have our skill set sharp, we need to have our knowledge sharp. We need to be ready to provide the highest level of care that we can for our community and be the best that we can be every day,” added Helton, who is a firefighter and EMT for the department.
In 2022 the Rapid City Fire Department responded to over 21,494 calls for service with more than 16,000 of those being for medical services.
Copyright 2023 KOTA. All rights reserved.