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Hebron EMTs treated to dinner in recognition of EMS Week

Several members of the Hebron Fire Department gathered beside their ambulance last Wednesday for a group photo in recognition of National EMS week. Featured in the center of the photo are Chief John Fischer and EMT Chief Linda Fischer. To Linda's left is Hebron's EMT Training Officer Patti Oakley. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
May 30, 2019
HEBRON – May 19-25 was National EMS week, honoring the emergency medical personnel and Hebron Fire Department treated their staff of EMTs to a dinner last Wednesday to personally thank them for their dedication to the community.

Patti Oakley is the EMS Training Officer for HFD, and said their department has 26 members in all, 14 of whom are not just trained to fight fires but are EMTs or AEMTs also. Two other members are also in the midst of getting their EMT certification, which means more than half the department is available to respond to emergency medical calls.

As they celebrated their week of well-deserved recognition, Oakley said they are in the midst of testing an instructional Crisis Manikin that can be used for training and refresher courses on how to properly take blood pressure, perform CPR, begin IV procedures, and much more.

"We raised the money to buy a Manikin through donations and our snowmobile Poker Run this winter. Now we're trying one out to see if it's the model we want," Oakley said.

Hebron is a quiet community on the shores of Newfound Lake but in the summer months medical calls can come in more frequently when nearby summer camps open and seasonal residents return to the town. Chief John Fischer said that last year the department fielded a total of 220 calls for service with well over half of them medical calls.

"We typically get somewhere around 150 medical calls a year," he said. "The camps up the road can keep us pretty busy at times."

Oakley and the department's EMT Chief Linda Fischer work hard to make sure everyone on their staff is up-to-date on certifications and training, and they are always on the lookout for technology that can help them help others more efficiently. Oakley demonstrated "Fast ED" last week, a new phone application that helps detect a possible large vessel stroke. By swiftly responding to prompts on the ap, it not only determines whether or not the patient is having a stroke, it can also direct an ambulance to the nearest medical that facility best equipped to handle their condition.

"They're constantly coming up with new ways to make our jobs easier, providing us with better field diagnosis tools," Oakley said, "and we are constantly undergoing training. EMTs have to have 40 or more hours of training every two years."

As one other "Thank you" for all the hard work done by the EMTs in his department, Chief Fischer presented them with a $100 check at their dinner last week for the purchase of a special brick that will be part of a soon-to-be constructed EMS memorial. The memorial will be located beside the N.H. Fire Academy and Emergency Services training facility in Concord, honoring those whose lives were lost in the line of duty. Hebron is one of the first departments in the state to purchase a commemorative brick and it will be inscribed with the words, "Hebron Fire Department Serving Past and Present."

AJ Coleman
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Varney Smith
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