Waterville Emergency Medical Services is currently looking for volunteers.
Since 1959, Waterville EMS, a volunteer organization, has provided emergency medical service throughout our area. Currently, the department operates two ambulances and helps to provide coverage to Waterville, Douglas, Winthrow, the residents on Badger Mountain and the Moses Coulee area, and the South end of Jameson Lake. The department is averaging 200 calls a year and is currently operating with a mere 11 volunteers.
The lack of volunteers is something that Director of Operations Gage Island would like to improve. He attended September’s Farmer’s Market with other volunteers from the department to educate the public and look for new volunteers.
“There’s two main positions you can volunteer for. You can volunteer as an Emergency Vehicle Operator. We’ll put you through a CPR and first aid class and then other in-house training. Then you’ll strictly drive with another provider. Or we’ll pay to put people through an EMT class and that puts you in the back doing patient care,” said Island.
The EMT class lasts four months and is usually held in Orondo; however, the upcoming class will be held online. The class is paid for by Waterville EMS if the volunteer is willing to commit to the department.
“We pay for the class, but what we ask for in return is a one-year commitment to the department,” said Island.
He said volunteers are asked to sign up for six 24-hour period shifts per month to help provide around the clock emergency medical coverage to our town and the surrounding area.
While September’s EMT class has closed enrollment, Island encourages anybody who is interested in volunteering to reach out now so that the volunteers can ensure getting into the next class and to be available to help protect our community as soon as possible.