June 25, 2016

Mostly sunny

Here to help: Everyday people get medical training

Paramedics. They race to the scenes of crashes, fires and other emergencies. Thanks to a 12-week course, everyday people can learn about the life-saving job and its techniques.

Nine people practiced bandaging a wounded child, using an automated external defibrillator, treating a fractured leg and diagnosing a patient with chest pains. The simulations were part of Medina Hospital’s Life Support Team Citizen Academy, where residents learned what it’s like to walk in a paramedic’s shoes.

TOP: From left, Deb Juba, a paramedic with Medina Hospital’s Life Support Team, helps Medina resident Steve Neal use an automated external defibrillator on a mannequin during a class Wednesday to teach people what it means to be a paramedic. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY KIERA MANION-FISCHER)

“The primary purpose of the class is to let community members know about EMS,” said Mark Phillips, Life Support Team director.

Donald Leuchtag, a paramedic, said, “It’s a chance for the taxpayers to see what they’re getting for their money.”

The Life Support Team is funded by property tax levies in Medina city, and Montville and Medina townships.

The group met once a week each Wednesday at Medina Hospital for 12 two-hour sessions, and learned basic first aid and received CPR/AED certification. Participants also learned about the day-to-day operations of the Life Support Team. Next week, the class will have a graduation ceremony.

As part of the course, students received a tour of the medical helicopter and were given the option to observe a squad call.

Steve Neal, a Medina resident and one of the students, said, “I really enjoyed the course here.” He said it made him appreciate how difficult a paramedic’s job is.

This is the second time the Life Support Team has conducted a class and another one is planned for August. To apply for the next course, contact Phillips at phillips@ccf.org. Applicants must at least 21 years old.

“It’s free, open to anyone, not just county residents,” Phillips said.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.