EMS Director Greene at Tonasket Chamber

Looking for more  EMTs to serve the area

TONASKET – Tonasket EMS Director Michael Greene visited the Tonasket Chamber of Commerce’s regular lunch meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 28, explaining some of the dynamics of the area’s emergency services and asking for support as the he tries to expand the pool of available emergency medical technicians.

Greene said that with the current staff of 10-12 EMTs who are on-call three at a time 24/7, getting adequate coverage for the 280 calls ambulance gets is difficult. Additionally, he said there are about 12 instances a year of simultaneous or overlapping calls coming in.

“When you’re volunteering with the ambulance, you don’t get to say, ‘Well I’ll respond between 8:00 and 8:15,’” Greene said. “It really is a high-demand job with a small number of people.”

His goal is to add about 10 EMTs to the existing pool, and will be starting a certification class beginning Sept. 25. Educational prerequisites include either a high school diploma or GED.

“The big obstacle is cost,” Greene said. “It’s going to cost about $1,100 and we’ll be looking for help for scholarships.”

Greene said he could be contacted at (509) 560-0080 for more information.

Additionally, he said citizens could assists with EMT response by making sure their address is clearly visible from the street, keeping a record of their currently utilized medications on hand, and learning First Aid or CPR.

In other chamber business, it was noted from a previous meeting that the RV Park is so far turning a profit in 2012 and the TVBRC is seeing more than 20 visitors a day, may of them from Canada. New businesses opening in town include It’s Still Good (in the old Radio Shack, on Whitcomb between Third and Fourth) and Brender’s Knocks, Brats and Dogs (serving lunch Mondays and Thursdays in the Lee Franks parking lot).

Also, Peter James reminded the chamber that the Okanogan Family Faire will take place the second weekend of October.

The chamber next meets on Tuesday, Sept. 11, when it is expected that the new Tonasket Chamber website will be demonstrated. Meetings are at noon at Whistler’s.

About Brent Baker

Brent is a reporter for the Gazette-Tribune. Prior to working at the G-T, he was the sports editor for Sunrise Publishing from 2000-2005 in Michigan. He subsequently owned and operated Buckland Media, a high school sports website, in Michigan until 2010. He and his wife Kim, who have an adult son, moved to Tonasket in 2010. Brent started work at the G-T in 2011.

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