Jackson Hole Fire/EMS increased the number of full-time paramedics to 18 following the recent graduation of three full-time firefighters from the intense Weber State University Paramedic Program in Ogden, Utah.
In August, Chance Abel, Ian Cranston, and Ben Thurston earned their credentials through the distance education program, which consists of over 1,500 hours of a combination of live online distance education; in-person hands-on training; 240 hours of supervised hospital rotations in surgical departments, cardiac catherization labs, obstetrics, pediatrics, and burn units; and 480 hours of field internships at several fire departments in Utah.
Prior to beginning the program, each student was required to complete pre-requisite courses that included Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Terminology, Math, and English.
Training responders in rural areas like Teton County is critical because the need for paramedics is most acute in areas where medical assistance is not always easily accessible and transport time to medical facilities are often extended due to distance and weather.
Teton County, the Town of Jackson, the Wyoming Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program, the Western Wyoming Healthcare Coalition, and the students themselves helped pay for program.