Although it has been retired from service, an older DeKalb County ambulance will continue to have a useful purpose.
The county commission last month voted to declare the ambulance as surplus and donate it to the EMS Education department of Motlow State Community College to be used for student training.
County Mayor Tim Stribling presented the keys and title of the ambulance Tuesday to Drew Hooker, EMS Director of the Motlow State EMS Education Department.
“This ambulance can assist in the type of training that we do specifically in the DeKalb and Upper Cumberland area,” said Hooker.
“It will create realistic training for students and when they come out and show up at the EMS services they will be work ready. We don’t want to train a student for a year and turn around and have to spend six or eight more weeks training. We want them to be ready when they get here so being able to put them in a real unit with real supplies will ensure that they have all the training necessary during the time they are with us. We want to provide the best education for the students and continue the relationship between the college and the EMS services along with the county governments because we need each other. We need the students and they need the employees to provide the best care for the citizens,” Hooker continued.
“We are a program that provides students that attend clinicals in DeKalb County as well as future employees to the DeKalb EMS department. Our program is one that works hard to provide work ready EMT/AEMT and paramedic students so they are ready to work once they are hired by the county services. This ambulance will allow for us to train as close to the “real life” simulations as possible. This will allow for us to broaden our training at the McMinnville classes. This unit will be used in our classes and will directly influence each student that graduates our program. We are in the process of ramping up our program in the upper Cumberland area with the hope that provides more possible employees for the DeKalb EMS service. We hope that this donation will continue the partnership of our educational facility and the DeKalb EMS service to bring greater training to the area, as well as provide more employees for DeKalb County to be able to hire,” said Hooker.
“This donation will help us with real life scenarios. One of the biggest complaints we have is students who come out not exactly knowing how to use the equipment or driving the vehicles. This gives us an opportunity to run real life scenarios. We do a twenty four hour class where the students actually run twenty four hours with the lights, sirens, load patients, etc. This gives us an edge because nobody else has a truck in the Upper Cumberland area to use for practice. This is unbelievable for us as far as being able to train and get employees. We are very thankful to have this truck,” said Kristie Johnson AEMT/EMT Coordinator for Motlow EMS Education and part time DeKalb EMS employee.
“We are proud to help the college by giving them a teaching tool which will return people back to us who are already trained to run our ambulance service. I think the cost of the old ambulance we will reap in benefits by having more and better trained employees,” said Second District County Commissioner Joe Johnson, who is a member of the county commission’s emergency services committee.