EMT class offered at NRAO

Green Bank, W.Va. –

Bartow-Frank Durbin rescue chief Janet Ghigo teaches a basic EMT certification class in Green Bank beginning on August 28.

“This would be the EMT basic, and it would be training people for the basic things they need to be ambulance personnel,” Ghigo said. “We’re going to have the first class on Tuesday the 28th of August. So, anybody that wants to come to the class needs to mark down Tuesday the 28th of August. All of the classes are going to be six to 10 at night. Mostly Tuesday and Thursday of every week. This year, I’m doing it again in the Observatory. We should finish the entire 128 hour class by the end of the first week in December.”

The class costs about $250, but local rescue squads can reimburse those costs.

“The tuition is 150 bucks and the book, it’s right around $100 for the book,” said Ghigo. “If you know anybody that’s taken my class in the last two-three years, see if they’ve got a book you can borrow or buy or whatever. Check with the rescue squads in your area. You might have to join the squad before they pay for it, but that would be something that you could look into doing.”

Graduates will be eligible to take both a state and national EMT qualification exam.

“At the end of the training, you’re eligible to take the National Registry Exam for EMT Basics,” Ghigo said. “There is now an option that you can take a state test which will get you, essentially, a license in the State of West Virginia.”

More than 90 percent of Ghigo’s students pass the exam. Basic EMT qualification allows an EMT to work alone on a rescue call.

“The day after they get notice that they have passed and they receive their card, they can be the only person in the back of a truck,” Ghigo said. “Now, that’s a little frightening for people that have just taken their test and discovered they’re the only one in charge of a sick person. Normally, what most of our county squads do is – we have some sort of formal or maybe informal arrangement whereby they would always run with somebody until they feel comfortable.”

Ghigo says EMTs save lives.

“It’s entirely possible that they could be saving lives,” she said. “There are certain situations that something needs to be done immediately. For example, allergic reactions is a good example. We carry those medications on the ambulance and they are allowed to use those. That’s the most dramatic way that they save lives.”

The instructor discusses some of the things students will learn.

“They’ll be very good at doing blood pressure, pulses, getting vital signs, that sort of thing, when they’re finished” she said. “Then, we cover major emergencies, medical emergencies, respiratory, cardiac, diabetes, stroke, seizures, allergic reactions. They will be qualified to do an emergency delivery. Then, we do a lot of things with trauma, because that’s where EMS began was with car wrecks and trauma.”

You don’t have to be young or in perfect physical condition to become an EMT.

“Well ,we’ve got people pretty much all ages,” Ghigo said. “If you have a major physical disability such that you wouldn’t be able to climb into the truck, on your own, or difficulty walking or something like that – that’s a problem. I think I was 42, I think, when I first took this class and I’ve been doing it for 20 years now. You have to have an interest in people. You have to care about people and you have to want to make a difference and have an interest in medical care.”

Interested persons can attend the first class at no cost or obligation.

“People can come to the first class free,” Ghigo said. “People can kind of get an idea of what it’s like and what it’s going to involve. But then, they’re under no obligation to come to the second class.”

Call Janet Ghigo at 304-456-3298 for more information on the EMT class.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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