Thirteen members of the Virgin Islands Fire Services (VIFS) recently completed a ten-week Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) course on St. Croix. The course, which was administered by University of the Virgin Islands Center for Excellence in Leadership and Learning (UVI CELL), was approved by the V.I. Department of Health and followed the National Scope of Practice model designed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) National EMS Standards Curriculum.
The course consisted of eight weeks of online cognitive training followed by an intensive two weeks of classroom lectures and hands-on skills training covering basic anatomy and physiology, response to emergencies, and treatment and transportation of sick and injured patients. The students learned how to provide immediate lifesaving interventions and how to assist higher-level EMS personnel at the scene of an emergency and during transport. The EMR course concluded with a final written examination and National Registry practical skills examination, which was overseen by the Department of Health.
The 13 graduates include Noixa Torres, Charnelle Gerard, Michael DeSorbo, Naeem Johnson Sr., Orlando Benitex Jr., Victoria Hamilton, Cuthbert Victor, Andres Belardo, Norberto Davis, Keba Petrus, Bruce Phaire, Joseph Nicholas and Kevin de Lande.
While not a typical component of the EMR course, the students also successfully completed the ‘Stop the Bleed’ program, which was developed by the American College of Surgeons, that teaches individuals to recognize life-threatening bleeding and to intervene quickly and effectively.
“Our EMR personnel play a critical role in the overall EMS response, “said VIFS Director Daryl George. “Cross-training our firefighters in the basic elements of emergency care until help arrives allows us to create a more efficient and responsive system to serve the needs of our community,” said George.
“This was an exceptional group of students,” said Program Director Brenda P. Tenney. “We have been doing this a very long time, and this group collectively was one of the best groups we have had the pleasure to teach,” did Tenney.
The instructional team of Brenda Tenney, Carol Stiles and Ian Tenney collectively brought over 100 years of emergency services response and educational experience to the program. Jacqueline Greenidge-Payne, acting territorial coordinator for the Division of Emergency Medical Services and NREMT state representative, provided course review, approval and much of the necessary equipment. She also gave additional support as a guest lecturer.
The students excelled on both the course final written and practical examination in compliance with National Registry Standards. As a next step, the students will take their National Registry Cognitive Exam to become certified within 30-45 days.
For more information on the EMR Program, contact UVI CELL at 693-1100.