Med-Care Ambulance personnel, from left, Deputy Chief Berta Broomhall, Lt. Kyle Baker, Chief Paul Landry and Capt. Dakota Turnbull give instruction in emergency medical procedures Saturday at the first Citizens EMS Academy at Med-Care headquarters in Mexico. Eight people attended the course. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

MEXICO — Med-Care Ambulance hosted its first Citizens EMS Academy on Saturday, giving eight participants a crash course in emergency medical procedures.

Staff provided instruction on cardiopulmonary resuscitation, controlling bleeding, using a mechanical CPR device and video laryngoscope at the station at 290 Highland Terrace.

Chief Paul Landry, Deputy Chief Berta Broomhall, Capt. Dakota Turnbull and Lt. Kyle Baker explained the kinds of care paramedics provide. Participants also toured the ambulances to see how they operated and what equipment and supplies they carry.

“It’s really important for us to be able to get the skills out there for people, but also for people to realize what an EMT or a paramedic does,” Landry said. The two big things people in the community can do to save a life is CPR and stop bleeding, he said.

Among those attending were five board members representing five of the 11 towns of Med-Care serves in Oxford and Franklin counties.

“As a former teacher, I was CPR certified at one point,” Barbara Roach Chambers of Roxbury said. “But the compressions, I couldn’t believe the difference. I guess maybe it’s my age.”


Frank DiConzo of Rumford said taking the CPR training is “a great refresher because I don’t know when I’ll come across a situation. And techniques have changed. This is so important. Hopefully what they’re doing here now will get bigger and bigger.”

Landry stressed that the EMS community is lacking in outreach.

“We need to proactively reach out more, to show people our value and what it is that we do,” Landry said. “The more of the public at large that we can educate, the more support that we’ll have.”

Saturday’s course and the next one will be offered to people from municipal governments of member towns to “let them know we’re part of the community and the things we do,” he said. “Also, to give them skills where they can do something in the event of an emergency.”

Landry said they hope to offer these opportunities to the public four times a year.

“This will also be a great opportunity to get some young people in that maybe this is a career path that they’re exploring,” he said.

“We’d like to add a ride-along aspect to it, too,” Landry said, “But we’re not at the point where we can do that yet.

Med-Care Ambulance Service is the primary emergency medical services agency for a majority of Oxford County. It provides emergency medical response to Andover, Byron, Canton, Dixfield, Hanover, Mexico, Newry, Peru, Roxbury and Rumford in Oxford County, and Carthage in Franklin County.

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