Twenty-six students completed Darien EMS-Post 53's six-month emergency medical technician training program in March to become state-certified by participating in the final "extrication" exercise conducted with Noroton Fire Department volunteers.
In addition, five adults completed the course and will join Post 53 as adult advisers.
The EMT course, which began in October, is a college-level curriculum sanctioned and managed by the State of Connecticut. Students receive their certification after successfully completing written and practical tests following 170 classroom and observation hours.
The content of the course includes trauma and medical assessments, CPR and AED, airway management, medical emergencies, trauma management, handling special populations of geriatric and pediatric patients, psychological emergencies and mass casualty incidents. The course focuses on any medical emergencies that occur outside the hospital. In each case, the student learns how to handle the patient from assessment to treatment.
In addition to their training, the students dedicate more than 4,000 volunteer hours at Post 53 during the year.
"I am, once again, impressed by the dedication and determination of the class of Post 53 students," Marilyn Vojta, director of training, said. "The students gave it all they had and more throughout the year."
Students applied all they learned throughout the course to the "extrication" exercise, simulating a serious highway accident in which several people are trapped in overturned vehicles. Noroton Fire Department participated in the exercise with the EMT class students, who face difficult life-saving situations to get their "victims" safely on their way to the hospital.
The drill included use of the department's state-of-the-art rescue equipment.
Founded in 1970, Post 53 provides emergency medical services to the Darien community, using Darien High School students and adult volunteers.