Over the past two years, several members of the Andover Fire & Rescue Department have shown their dedication to the citizens of the Andover community by obtaining advanced emergency medical training.
Career firefighters Chad Cheslic, Phillip Pantleo, John Gabriel, Capt. Rocky Craig and Deputy Chief Mike Roosevelt, along with volunteer firefighters Cory Mattke, David Beat and Troy Spader, completed training to become a state certified EMT-I (Emergency Medical Technician, IV). This training is over and above the EMT status they had achieved for their current position.
"This training opportunity was something that the firefighters wanted, and they worked very hard to get," Fire Chief Jim Shaver said. "We are very fortunate to have such a bunch of dedicated firefighters for our community. Think about the three volunteers who did it; that's a dedicated firefighter/server to the community."
After becoming state certified as an EMT-I, the fire department reimbursed each firefighter for the state registration fees. Their new certification allows them start IVs for drug therapy in the field for very critical patients, such as someone who suffers a heart attack.
The additional training, provided for free by Butler County EMS, consisted of 40 classroom hours and 40 hours of clinical training, both in the field and at a hospital. The classroom training was held at the Andover Fire Station.
Additionally, firefighters Joe King, Chris Matson, Brian Landers and Aaron Parker took training one step further by becoming an AEMT (Advanced Emergency Medical Technician) with an additional 160 classroom hours. Firefighter/EMT-I Frank Shaw plans on completing the AEMT certification in 2013.
The dedication of these professionals enables Andover Fire/Rescue to provide the most up-to-date, cutting-edge emergency medical response to the citizens of our community.
"With the likelihood of Andover Fire & Rescue being the first responder at the scene of a life-threating emergency, it is absolutely critical that our crew has the necessary and expanded skills of certified EMTs," Mayor Ben Lawrence said. "While this is certainly not a requirement of fire protection, it is the right thing to do in this community."
The remaining career firefighters and volunteer firefighters are all EMTs. Two volunteer firefighters – Deputy Chief Bob Pippin and Fire/Medical Officer Andy Saville – are both state certified as a paramedic.
"I am very proud of the accomplishments of all of these professional firefighters, career and volunteer," Shaver said. "The citizens of our community are extremely fortunate to have these dedicated firefighters here to serve their needs today and in the future."