EMS Week: A Message from the Montgomery Area Emergency Ambulance Service EMS Director

PhotosByHarstad photo
The Montgomery Area Emergency Ambulance Service. Picture from left to right (front row) are Jason Gangloff, Rhea Fogarty, Brandon Legg, Katrina Anderson, Tom Stonehouse, Caitlin Vigil and Jim Chromy, and (back row) are Thomas Franek, Mark Norman, Tyler Bednar, Allison Johnston, Brittany Grobe, Angela Jenneke, Neil Vlasak, Tim Weiss and Dave Gaul. Missing from the photo are Sam Lieberman, Zach Janisch, Ashton Matejcek, Alexander Bernal, Craig Nordling, Joe Anderson, Dan McGuire, Riannon Borchardt and Cameron Hankins.

   The Montgomery Area Emergency Ambulance Service (MAEAS) this year has welcomed changes to our training process for new and current members, gained new equipment and welcomed new personnel.
    The new online-based education platform allows our members to take courses geared towards emergency medical service (EMS) topics to help them keep their skills up-to-date. Ambulance crew members must maintain a certification as an emergency medical responder (EMR) or emergency medical technician (EMT). After initial certification, they must re-certify every two years. They are required to do a minimum number of continuing education hours to maintain their certification. The new platform gives them easier access to education to maintain their certification.
    MAEAS’ onboard training process for new employees was re-vamped. We have transitioned to a three-phase orientation process, and we have lengthened the training process to ensure our new members are comfortable and ready to care for patients within the community. Scenario days have been added where we run mock ambulance calls. We have also added an area orientation day, where we drive around town and help new members get familiar with town. Many of our new members are from out of town so this has been found to be very beneficial.
    In April, we held a Certified Emergency Vehicle Operator course. This is completed in two parts: in the classroom and a behind the wheel driving course. You may have seen people driving ambulances around in the Holy Redeemer parking lot in the middle of April. That was because we were completing our behind the wheel driving course. This course was designed to help drivers learn safe driving tips in the ambulance as well as safe handling due to the size of ambulances. 
    We are very excited for the trainings coming up in June. We will be hosting North Memorial Air Care for a landing zone and helicopter safety training. For our most critical patients, we work closely with North Memorial Air Care to fly patients from scenes to the Twin Cities for advanced cared. We will also be joining the Montgomery Fire Department for a vehicle extrication training.
    We have acquired a new full-body manikin. This manikin has many features. It can communicate with our cardiac monitor to simulate the cardiac rhythms of a real patient and perform defibrillations as if we were caring for a patient in cardiac arrest. We can also practice cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and perform inter-muscular injections (shots). The ability to give shots allows our team to practice giving critical medication, like Epi for allergic reactions and Glucagon to reverse low blood sugars. Additionally, we can start intravenous therapy
(IV) on the arm and hand. It is important for us to be well versed in placing IVs to help patients that are dehydrate or have a low blood pressure. Last, we can practice placing oral and nasal airways and ventilate the manikin.
    We also acquired a manikin hand and arm that we practice placing IVs on. Up until now, we have been solely practicing on other members of the department. Everyone is VERY excited for these manikin items.
    MAEAS now carries a new medication known as Dextrose 10%. This medication can be used for patients with a low blood sugar. It is administered through IV and allows us to raise a person’s blood sugar back to a normal level.

    Six new members were added to the MAEAS this year — Katrina, Caitlin, Sam, Ashton, Zach and Alex. Many of them live outside of Montgomery and stay at the ambulance hall while on call. Katrina and Caitlin successfully completed the training program and obtained their EMT certification in the past year. We have also had a couple of our current members that started with the department as an EMR advance their training to become an EMT. Mark was an EMR on our department for six months before he obtained his EMT certification. We also have three other members in process of obtaining their EMT certification.

    While it is important to welcome our new members, it is also important to honor our members that have shown great dedication to the department. We have one member that is celebrating a huge milestone this year. Neil is celebrating his 35th year serving on the department.

    Overall, the year has gone very well for the department. We are excited to see what the next year will bring and look forward to continue serving the community that we all care for. We want to thank you all for allowing us to serve you. We love what we do, and we are very passionate about the care we provide.

 —Jason Gangloff, EMS Director


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