The Murrayville-Woodson Emergency Ambulance Service is hosting an Emergency Medical Responder class this spring.
The class will be held at the Murrayville-Woodson Ambulance Shed in Murrayville, and President of MWEAS, Jeff Cunningham says the EMR class offers anyone the chance to be more than just an ambulance driver.
“The EMR class is a first step in pre-hospital care. We will learn basic information about first aid and treatment for emergency purposes. A lot of the EMRs are being used throughout the fire departments in the local area. We also use the EMRs as the, I use the term very loosely, as ambulance drivers. Anybody that drives an ambulance is not just an ambulance driver. They take care of the patient along with the patient care person, either as a basic in a volunteer agency, or the paramedic in the paid services.”
The class is free to anyone who signs on with MWEAS to volunteer 24 hours per month for 12 months from the date of completion of the class. Otherwise, the cost is $300.00 per person which Cunningham says goes to help pay for materials and instruction. Cunningham says the goal of hosting the class is to help not only Murrayville-Woodson but the entire area as a nationwide shortage of first responders continues.
“We are actually trying to get people to help volunteer because just like every agency around the area, Waverly, Bluffs, Meredosia, Winchester, and South Jacksonville- I know they are not transport but they do run EMS calls. We are all short-staffed and having this class here kind of gives us a jump on getting people around the area to be involved.”
Cunningham says there is plenty of room in the class for anyone interested to sign up. He says the class is becoming a regular occurrence in Murrayville, and this year’s class will already help increase public safety in the area.
“We are trying to do this every year, possibly twice a year if we get enough people who are interested. Since I’ve taken over as President in 2020, we’ve had two other classes and we’ve had a very good response. This year we have an even bigger class because the Woodson Fire Department is actually going to become an EMR status through the State of Illinois, so they are going to have more people to help with medical issues and things along that line in the Woodson area.”
There is no age limit for taking the class. Cunningham says Murrayville-Woodson has a volunteer who he says is long retired from professional life but is still more than able to serve as part of the team as an EMR.
Anyone 16 and older can take the class, however, in order to sign up to volunteer and take advantage of the free class, they must be 18 years of age or older.
The EMR Class at MWEAS will be held every Monday and Thursday, with a couple of Saturdays as well, from April 18th through May 24th from 6 to 10 pm at the Murrayville-Woodson Ambulance Service building located at 1930 Murrayville Road.
For more information on the class or to sign up, contact Jeff Cunningham at 217-882-3114, or by email at email@example.com