Medical first responders celebrated during National EMT Week
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Emergency Medical Service (EMS) professionals are the first ones who provide assistance to patients in the critical moments before they even arrive to a hospital.
“We typically can get to your home or your place of business or wherever you happen to be quicker than an ambulance can arrive. So, our goal is to provide that service more quickly than you may have had otherwise,” said Bruce Andruss, Division Chief of Training and EMS for the Topeka Fire Department.
There are different levels of EMS services by the Topeka Fire Department alone.
“Everyone within in the department is at least EMT-level trained. Right now, I think we got around 12 advanced EMTs and there’s three paramedic-level trained personnel that are working out in the companies right now,” Andruss said.
Different agencies will often train together to enhance the public’s health and safety.
“With our police department, we train with them to handle mass casualty incidents that we may be working on together. We do some joint training with AMR and they provide classroom type training and sometimes we go over and sit in on their training,” explained Andruss.
In 2022, Topeka firefighters responded to over 23,000 calls for service. More than 16,000 of those were EMS calls.
“In general, at least 80% of the calls we run are EMS or medical related. And then the other 20% are fire or rescue type calls,” said Andruss.
During National EMS Week, Andruss wants the public to understand the rigorous amount of training that is required from every EMS provider.
“It’s more than just showing up and putting on a band-aid or you know putting on a cold pack or something. I mean they have training in how to maintain an advanced airway in to help you breathe, perform CPR, stop bleeding. All sorts of things.”
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