Pennington First Aid Squad offers EMT course

Classes begin Sept. 5

By John Tredrea, Staff Writer
   Once again this year, the Pennington First Aid Squad (PFA) will offer an emergency medical technician (EMT) training course.
   Successful completion of the course, which includes a final exam, gives one the opportunity to take the state EMT exam. On passing the exam, the applicant becomes a New Jersey-certified emergency medical technician.
   Anyone at least 16 years of age can take the course. “We’ve had people up to 80 years old take it,” said Julie Aberger of the PFA. Ms. Aberger has been one of the course’s instructors for many years.
   The course is free to volunteer members of first aid squads in this state. All others pay $550 for the 120-hour course, which includes 10 hours riding with Trenton Emergency Medical Services.
   Classes begin Sept. 5 and last about two and a half months. They are held from 7-10 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. Seven Saturday classes are included as well. Attendance at all the classes is required, except in cases of emergency.
   Preregistration is required for the course. Anyone interested in doing that should call Dan Boone of the PFA at 510-4324. “About 40 people have signed up already,” Ms. Aberger said Tuesday.
   The course teaches “how to respond to a medical emergency,” Ms. Aberger noted. “You learn how to act, not just react. Areas covered include how to deal with an automobile accident, heart attack, stroke and fractures.”
   She said all three Hopewell Valley emergency medical units need volunteers, “particularly in the daytime during the hours when most people are working.”
   ”We can provide child care to parents (of young children) who are interested,” Ms. Aberger added.
   Also in Hopewell Valley are the Union Rescue Squad, on Route 29 in the Titusville, and the Hopewell Borough Emergency Medical Unit. Union also does river rescue, as it is within sight of the Delaware River and Delaware & Raritan Canal. PFA is on Broemel Place, which runs between Route 31 and Green Street in Pennington.
   ”Being an EMT will make you feel good about yourself,” Ms. Aberger said. “Being a volunteer makes you part of the fabric of your community and earns you the respect of your children and colleagues. It’s an important part of any resume or college application.
   ”You can come through for other people at all times, not just when you’re riding on the ambulance,” she said. “If there’s a medical emergency where you work, for example, you’ll be the one who knows what to do . . . It can make a great difference.”
   For years, graduates of the Pennington course have been serving on all three Valley first aid units, as well as with other squads throughout the area.