What does it take to become an EMT?

CSRA News

MARTINEZ, Ga. (WJBF) – The pathway to becoming an EMT means taking a 16-week course. But we wanted to give you a glimpse of what that training will look like.

Gold Cross EMS is hiring after Georgia Pacific employees lost their jobs.

Chief Operating Officer Steven Vincent said they can take someone with no experience and prepare them for saving lives.

“Everything that you can think of that’s helping people in their time of need, you’re going to learn how to do,” Vincent said of the training.

We began our short course of how to be an EMT by looking first at the steps that someone would take when learning how to handle a stretcher.

Communications Director and Paramedic Jonathan Doss explained, “When you learn how to handle a stretcher, the basic thing you want to know is this is a two person stretcher. Even though it’s an electronic stretcher, it’s a two person stretcher. The safety of you and your patient should be of the utmost.”

Safety is one of the first lessons you will learn when starting your journey to become an EMT. Gold Cross EMS started its own 16-week course to provide on the spot training to get you certified.

“You always want to have a person on each end,” Doss said while lifting the “dummy” patient on the stretcher.

We tried highlighting the biggest takeaways from the course, which Vincent told us begins July 8. After 16 weeks, he said Gold Cross will take a 30 day break and start again. There will be a second class started in July or as needed, depending on the demand.

“Put your patient in a position of comfort. If they’re having breathing problems you don’t want them laying flat. You want them sitting up. Whatever makes them comfortable,” Doss added.

Chris Medlin, a Lieutenant and Paramedic with Gold Cross in Aiken, demonstrated the CPR portion of the course.

You may remember years ago, CPR was taught by giving mouth to mouth to clear someone’s airway. Today, you use devices.

“Actually, they do more effective CPR than we can,” Medlin said of the machine, adding that the extra set of hands helps when EMS workers are in rural areas.

“You’re going to grab the bag here and you’re going to press firmly with your right hand and squeeze,” he said while showing me the breathing device. “We’re going to give them one breath every 8-10 seconds.”

And there’s even help for chest compressions.

“Center in place and this is going to do compressions at a rate of about 100 a minute,” he said.

All training will be provided. Vincent added that tuition assistance is available, but wanted to point out that anyone who works for Gold Cross can have their tuition covered. They are looking for medical transportation drivers now who can work during the day and attend classes at night.

Applications can be filled out at www.goldcrossems.com/careers or applicants can stop by Gold Cross EMS headquarters at 4328 Wheeler Rd, Martinez, GA 30907.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.