August 31, 2012

Rural emergency response classes hit the road

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale is taking its Rural Medical Transportation Network emergency medical responder courses to two area high schools this fall.

Norris City-Omaha-Enfield (NCOE) and Wayne City are the first high schools to participate in the University’s Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development project.  There are 23 high school students in the program at NCOE; in Wayne City there are nine students and eight community members.

Emergency medical responders, or EMRs, provide the first level of essential emergency medical services, and are particularly important to people who live in rural areas.  They are typically the first to arrive at the scene of a medical emergency.  By administering first aid until an ambulance and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) arrive, an EMR provides crucial care in helping save people’s lives.   

The program’s goals are to provide training to young people and encourage them to use it in serving their communities and reduce the shortage of EMRs in the region.  The program also gives high school students the opportunity to explore possible career options in the health care or emergency medical services fields.

More information about the program for high school students is available by contacting Dennis Presley, rural medical transportation network project coordinator, at 618/453-3314, or by email at