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Westport

Several people have asked how things are going in the ambulance squad recently and said they missed reading about it, so it seemed like a good time to devote another column to the subject of EMS response. Just to bring you up to date on my own participation, I joined the squad last year and took the "EMT Basic" course last summer, becoming a full-fledged EMT after passing the exams in November. So I'm still a relative beginner, though I'm gaining experience and confidence.

More than one reader expressed interest in how the squad works. Our squad is a volunteer service, and the biggest point to make is that there are lots of different ways to serve. You don't necessarily have to take the class and become an EMT. You can join the squad as an attendant, which means you ride along and help with things like lifting, or getting stretchers in and out of the rig, and generally making yourself useful. Often it takes several attendants to help get a patient out to the rig, depending on the circumstances.

Like driving the rigs, being an attendant is a valuable service in itself. We have (I think) about 23 members, and only 8 of those are EMTs. The rest are attendants and drivers, and we rely on them heavily. If you're interested in joining, one thing you might do is start by applying to the squad and serving for a while as an attendant. It's a great way to get some experience and start to learn the ropes. You can always take the class and become an EMT later. If you'd like more information, email me at the address above and I'd be happy to answer your questions. In a future column, I'll describe what happens on a typical ambulance run.

Meantime, don't miss the Westport Federated Women's Ministries "Loaves and Fishes" Bake Sale, on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the Federated Church. Delectable baked goods and used fishing tackle will be on sale for those who like to have a nibble while waiting for one.

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