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October 9, 2013     Sentinel Tribune
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October 9, 2013

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NATIONAL. FIRE SAFETY VVEEK PAGE 10 Mii,lhqlhll..llUUill.h,ll,hh,ldq,lhllh"llqlhIl MIXED ADC 50902 SmallTownPapers Inc 09113/99 217 W COTA ST SHELrON. WA 98584-2263 1 6 . IIl[ll[IJl!lJlll!!l!l!l!llll. Volume No. 29 Wednesday 7 Oct. 9, 2013 14 PAGES $1.00 Plus supplements in local edition ,, ,,, ,,,, , %?: ::.5 911. . WHAT IS .YOUR EMERGENCY? When you dial 911 for a medical emergency or acci dent you expect an ambu lance with EMTs and possibly First Responders to show up Tom Merchant Sentinel Tribune SPECIAL -- For most residents, when they call 911 with a medical emergency, they don't think twice about it. Typically local ambu- lance personnel from the area will show up with trained EMT's and/or First Responders. However for Westbrook and Walnut Grove that ser- vice could very easily be reduced to no local service or First Responders only. In talking with Nate Knakmuhs, an EMT serving on the Walnut Grove service, he said, "it is ironic that both Westbrook and Walnut Grove have come to a significant need for new members to their squads." Knakmuhs asked if the Sentinel Tribune would do a story to emphasize the fact that both services are in dire need of new mem- bers. It seems that some people think the Ambulance Associations are fully funded and manned by paid personnel, that is not the case, The EMT's and First Responders are volunteers that take time from their work and families to respond to accidents, medical emergencies and medi- cal transfers. Yes these people I do get paid for going on calls, on call status, and the ben- efit of a small pen- sion. However, the vast majority of squad mem- bers do it as a sense of duty to their community. Knakmuhs, who also serves as president of the Sanford Medical Center Westbrook board, said he is trying to work with both squads to come up with solu- tions to help bolster the services. Dave Van Loh is the director of the Westbrook Ambulance squad. He is respon- Mike Landuyt, Walnut Grove Ambulance director. sible for seeing that per- sonnel and equipment are certified for use by the squad. Brandy Vande Kieft is the vice president cott Caswell is the Secretary, Janet Johnson is the orga- nizations fmancial manag- er and training director, and Dan Joel is the squads equipment manager. The squad now has 10 EMTs and three First Responders. However three EMTs have expressed a desire to retire within the next year. Right now they are covering on call time 24-7 which is about the bare minimum needed to operate. "Once those three people retire, if they are not replaced, it will be very tough to maintain 24-7 coverage for very long," said Van Loh. "Since the formation of the Squad in about 1969 there has been no time we have not had coverage." Van Loh is urging people to come forward and volunteer to take either the EMT 160 hour course or the 60 hour First Responder course. The Ambulance Service pays the tuition and the time while they are taking the classes. Van Loh said, "we are looking at putting together some sort of incentive pack- age to entice people to sign up for classes. We have enough funding resources to finance all of our vehicle and equipment replacement, but we can not use money from that pool to enhance bonus and other pay incentives." "We are at a critical point, where if we don't get at least three more people certified to go on duty, it could jeopar- dize the service," said Van Loh. The organization has kept up with technology and equipment needs, and sports two newer model ambulanc- es. Their ambulance cots now are equipped with electric lifting mechanisms. Van Loh said, "the majority of our runs are transfers from the nursing home to the medi- cal center, or to other facilities. We don't have a lot of 911 calls which deal with seriou emergencies." He said, "we are plannifig on having an open house type meeting yet this month for interested people wanting to get more infor- mation about becoming an EMT or First Responder. Van Loh said, "we are looking at the potential of working with other close by com- munities to possibly get a group of people to take the course together. We are not the only service around that is having this problem, so if we can work with other organizations it might benefit the whole area." Talking to Walnut Grove Ambulance presi- dent, Mike Landuyt, he said, "we have been going through these large retirement numbers for the past few years. Despite that, their numbers had remained level, but now are down similar to Westbrooks. Joleen Baumann is assistant director for the organization. The Walnut Grove squad has nine EMT's and 4 First Responders, and also will have one more First Responder coming on board soon. He said, "our biggest problem is having enough people to have 24 hour coverage. Several of our members have jobs that pre- vent them from being available on a regular basis." Dave Van Loh, Westbrook Ambulance director. Landuyt said, "unlike Westbrook, most of our calls are of the 911 type involving medical emergencies of accidents. We do make an occasional transfer from Country View Apament." "Recently we did a door to door campaign handing out pamphlets to people giving them information about becoming an EMT, or First Responder. We did get a couple of inqui- ries from it," he said. With a large population of Hmong people they are hoping to generate more of them to join the organization. He noted, as assistant fire chief, it is easier to get people to serve on the Fire Department because there is no on call time involved, and there are fewer calls during the year. With the ambulance service it is required that you must have at least one EMT and one First Responder. Landuyt noted, "we get really good fman- cial support from the community and the townships, but what we need is more people in the service. I don't think people understand how critical the situation is -- if we don't get more people on the squad we may have to go to a First Responder only organization." 911 ? -- on page 3 DNR announces special youth aeer season Youth ages 10-15 are eligible to participate in a special deer season that runs from Thursday, Oct. 17, to Sunday, Oct. 20, in 28 permit areas that encompass portions of southeastern and north- western Minnesota. "This youth-only season provides an opportu- nity for parents, guardians and mentors to sched- ule and plan a special deer hunt with youth," said Mike Kurre, mentoring program coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Deer permit areas open to the hunt are 101,105, 111, 114, 201,203, 208, 209, 256, 257, 260, 263, 264, 267, 268, 338, 339, 341,342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 601 and 602. Whitewater Game Refuge also is open to taking either sex deer by eligible youth. Youth Deer -- On page 3 Isabel Nibbe celebrat- ed her 106th birth- day with relatives and friends last Wednesday at the Good Samaritan Society Westbrook. Right: Isabel flashed a smile for the cam- era along with her 95 year old little brother Clarence Engler of Marshall. INDEX i ON RECORD PAGE 2 SPORTS PAGE 9 IN SIDE PAGE 3 FIRE SAFETY PAGE 10 VIEWPOINT PAGE 4 PORK MONTH PAGE 1 1 FAITH & FAMILY PAGE 5 AREA NEWS PAGE 12 COMMUNITY PAGE 6 CLASSIFIED ADS PAGE 13 COMMUNITY PAGE 7 AREA NEWS PAGE 14 NEWSPAPER WK PAGE 8 NATIONAL PORK MONTH PAGE 11 INFORMATION CIRCULATION :CONTACT US CLASSIFIEDS ADVERTISING 507-274-6136 OR 800-410-1859 Please read and recycle Printed with Soybased Ink Copyright 2013 Sentinel Tribune E-mail