The core of our ambulance squad has always been volunteers who live or work in the community year-round. These include college employees as well as those who work elsewhere. If you are interested in serving as an EMT/CFR, please review the FAQs below to learn more.
How much time would the EMT/CFR training take?
The EMT training involves two three-hour classes per week in the evenings. These classes are ussually Tuesday and Thursday evenings. There are also one or two Saturday morning classes. The class is offered in the fall and the spring. Specifics can sometime be often be found on the Allegany County Fire Services Training page. In addition to the class time, ten hours of observation time in a hospital emergency room is required. The classes are taught by the county at the Crossroads facility near the intersection of Route 19 and I-86, about a 17 minute drive south of campus.
The CFR class requires about about a third of the classroom training hours that the EMT class requires and does not require the ten hours of observation time in the hospital. The skills taught are fewer and less advanced, but are sufficient for CFRs to be crew members on ambulance calls, provided an EMT is on the crew also. The CFR class is offered in the fall and the spring, typically on Wednesdays.
After the training, how much time would it take to serve as an EMT/CFR?
The training is the greatest concentration of time commitment, but serving as an EMT also takes time. However, it is hard to calculate given the unpredictable nature of emergency calls. Community EMT/CFRs who work at the college but live out of town are typically "on call" (which means expected to respond immediately when there is an emergency) during normal working hours. EMT/CFRs who live in town are typically on call during the daytime if they are available and are on call one evening per week and one weekend (Friday and Saturday evenings) per month. If there are times when you are "on call" that you cannot respond (a trip out of town, for exampe), you can easily arrange in advance for a fellow EMT/CFR to substitute for you if there is a call.
How many calls are there and how long does a call take?
The department responds to an average of 150-175 ambulance calls per year. In general, 95% or more of these calls include transporting a patient to a hospital. Given the remote location of Houghton, any call that does include transportation will require 2 to 3 hours.
What prerequisites are required? Do I have to have a car or previous training?
You do not need to have a car if you live near the fire hall, though transportation will be needed to go to classes and if you live far from the fire hall. However, if several people are taking the class, carpooling to the class is often easy to arrange. You do not need to have any previous emergency services training or experience. Everything you need to know to be an EMT/CFR is taught in the class.
How do I apply?
Read the article about the membership application process.