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Northwest EMS Academy Graduates Their First Class Of EMT Students

In January, 2021, Northwest EMS began offering EMT classes as part of our newly credentialed EMS Academy. The first students enrolled did so as part of a pilot program with Elizabethtown High School. Under the direction of Northwest EMS Paramedic, Ryan Runkel, students received classroom education, practical skills training, and ambulance ride-along opportunities. By June, 2021, all students were ready to sit for National Registry and PA Department of Health EMT testing. To date, all students who have completed testing have done so on their first try.

On June 5, 2021, the students demonstrated their newly learned skills to friends and family by simulating response to a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI). The training demonstration occurred on the training pad at the Rheems Fire Department who provided the rescue services needed for this type of a response. The MCI incident involved multiple vehicles, including a tractor trailer, with multiple patients (adult and pediatric) entrapped. The scenario was created to be as realistic as possible.

While the students might have been a bit intimidated by the idea of performing their skills in front of an audience (with little or no guidance from our professional EMT’s and Paramedics), they demonstrated that they had the skills necessary to work as a team to identify and and appropriately treat multiple patients. Everyone did a great job and all 7 victims were extricated and enroute to an appropriate hospital for definitive care in only 28 minutes!

A bright and exciting future lies ahead for everyone of these students and the Northwest EMS Academy continues to refine our education and is offering a variety of additional EMS education. To learn more about our EMS Academy, contact Paramedic Ryan Runkel at

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