Several communities in Marion County are receiving an upgrade in the response for their medical needs. North Arkansas Regional Medical Center – Emergency Medical Services in conjunction with the Flippin Fire Department and the Marion County Fire Chiefs’ Association are sponsoring an Emergency Medical Technician course for 20 students from across Marion County. These students are all members of local fire departments and have been providing life saving measures prior to the arrival of an ambulance for several years as first responders. These students are undergoing 160+ hours of training to ensure that their neighbors receive the best care available prior to transport by an ambulance to the hospital of their choice.

The EMT course is being instructed by Brian Coffman, Paramedic/Supervisor with NARMC EMS, Brian Unruh, Paramedic/EMS Director with NARMC EMS and Telicia Wade-Perry, Paramedic with Flippin Fire Department. These instructors have many years of classroom training and have an almost perfect pass ratio of the students they have trained over the past years.

The important feature to this class is that there are no costs to the students in order to receive this training. North Ark EMS has agreed to provide the EMT training to the Marion County First Responders at no cost in order to ensure that they can assist their neighbors in need; which is a savings to the students of over $1000. The students are providing the educational materials for the class. The students also provide their own uniforms required to do the clinical portions of the class involving working and delivering patient care in an emergency room for 24 hours and on a paramedic level ambulance for 24 hours.

Keith Katcher, Chief of the Flippin Fire Department, has agreed to provide the location for the course at the Flippin Fire Department. The students are meeting every Monday and Wednesday night for 4 hours each night in order to receive the classroom education needed.

“This is a great service to the residents of Marion County.” stated Keith Edmonds, President of the Arkansas EMT Association. “We are grateful to North Ark EMS and Flippin Fire Department for assisting the fire departments and the students that are attending this course. I look forward to working side by side with each student and assisting them in any way that I can while they grow and learn the importance of their decision. It is with efforts like this that show the concern for the communities in Marion County and the ability to assist the neighbors in need.”
NARMC EMS received the recognition of the Arkansas Advanced Service of the Year presented at the annual EMS Conference this year for their dedication in serving the communities they provide ambulance response for, as well as educating those providing care to their neighbors prior to the arrival of an ambulance.

Upon passing the written and practical skills examination in April, the students will become Arkansas Licensed and National Registered Emergency Medical Technicians.