Skip to main content

Morgan County produces community heroes

Mar 23, 2023 09:48AM ● By Alisha Copfer

The recent EMT class graduates with their instructors and the Morgan County fire chief. The course was hosted by Morgan County Fire and EMS. Courtesy photo

Being prepared is only half the battle. And that is now more true than ever as Morgan County concludes its recent EMT course with several new graduates and certified EMTs.

EMT stands for emergency medical technician, and in order to get a certification to be an EMT, someone must complete a class with specific training and pass a national exam. This training program provides members of the community with the necessary knowledge and skills to become certified in emergency services. When the class members took the course, they learned topics such as patient assessment, airway management, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), bleeding control, shock management and other emergency medical procedures. 

The class started in November 2022 and finished in February. “There is a national shortage right now of EMTs,” said Honor Hellekson, Morgan County Fire & EMS Administrative Assistant. “In 2021, one-third of all EMTs nationwide quit. I think it’s a lot due to COVID and the lack of pay.” Hellekson said that EMTs, while they do receive a basic stipend for their shift plus an additional wage for each call they take, are typically on for a 12-hour shift at a time. “We have people on 24/7,” she said.

Hellekson said that from the course, eight individuals were recommended by the instructors to take the national test. These class members were Louzie Smith, Hoss Nobles, Lisa Butikofer, Kristina Vickers, Spenser Johnson, Zak Moss, Madi Smith and Hillarie Wixom. Even though the class ended in February, the students had to wait to take the national test. However, over half of these individuals have now taken the national test and passed to become a fully certified EMT.

“We got eight people who were willing to do this course, and they were all volunteers,” said Hellekson. “Just showing up in the first place was pretty awesome.” And, at least one of the graduates intends on sticking around to work with Morgan County Fire and EMS.

Hellekson said they worked on putting a team of instructors together, which “worked out really well.” These instructors included Dan Camp, Ina Moriconi and Erica White, who is currently the Morgan County Fire and EMS Deputy Chief. “The instructors are really incredible,” said Hellekson. “And we’re all really proud of the new EMTs.”

Subscribe to the Morgan County News