Westport EMS offers first training courses since COVID-19 lockdown

The Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service has opened registration for its emergency medical technician and emergency medical responder course, which starts Sept. 21, 2021.

The Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service has opened registration for its emergency medical technician and emergency medical responder course, which starts Sept. 21, 2021.

Contributed /Westport Volunteer EMS

The Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service has opened registration for its emergency medical technician and emergency medical responder course, which starts Sept. 21. The course will be the first in Westport since the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns began.

According to Westport VEMS, the suspension of classes has led to a drop in membership, even as the nonprofit organization’s volunteers continued staffing the town’s three ambulances during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Throughout the pandemic lockdowns, many neighbors actually reached out wondering when they could join us on the ambulances, as they had more time in their schedule and a passion to give back,” said crew chief and board member Jaime Bairaktaris in a news release. “This is your opportunity to join us in helping our community.”

Space is limited and goes quickly. All COVID-19 guidelines will be followed, including a vaccination mandate for all students. The class is taught by Westport paramedic and EMS instructor Rick Baumblatt, who has more than four decades of EMS experience.

Upon successful completion of the course and its testing, students will be eligible for state certification.

High schoolers aged 14 and above are permitted to join the Westport EMS Youth Corps, a group of high school-aged members of the service that fosters leadership skills and prepares for possible future careers in medicine. Per state regulations, 14- and 15-year-olds are permitted for EMR certification only, and can become EMT certified when they turn 16.

No prior experience or knowledge is necessary to take the course. A full tuition reimbursement program is available to those who successfully complete the EMT course and go on to volunteer with WVEMS.

To apply, or for more information, email the Westport EMS Training Division at training@westportems.org. Anyone interested in taking a CPR class or learning more about Westport Volunteer EMS should visit its web site, westportems.org.