EMS Cadets graduate from summer program

Published 4:52 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2023

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WINTON – With Emergency Medical Services (EMS) departments across the nation facing staffing shortages, one such entity has come up with an idea to address the situation.

This summer, Hertford County EMS launched its inaugural Summer Cadet Program. It was designed to prepare high school students for a possible career in EMS.

“We are trying to find ways to deal with a decrease in the number of individuals choosing a career as an EMT or a Paramedic,” said James Broglin, the county’s EMS Director. “From that we developed the EMS Cadet Program this summer. We had a target of five young people of high school age and wound up with two.”

At last week’s regularly scheduled meeting of the Hertford County Board of Commissioners, Broglin recognized Madison Cullipher and Davion Ward as the two local teens that took part in the first-ever Summer Cadet Program.

“They spent their summer vacation from school learning about Emergency Medical Services here in Hertford County,” Broglin told the commissioners. “They were required to come in at least three days per week to get a close-up look at the required training and emergency response. This included formalized instruction on what what EMS is all about…the office work, paperwork, how to use the equipment on the truck. They got a chance to ride along with our EMTs to see what it’s like.”

Both cadets, he said, received training in bloodborne pathogens, how to safely lift and move patients, and were advised of healthcare privacy information of the patients prior to being allowed to take part in their care. They were under constant supervision of certified EMTs while on a call.

The cadets also received CPR training.

Broglin also noted that the cadets are required to be at least 17 years old and have their parents or guardians consent to participate in the program. The cadets are also required to have maintained at least a C average in school.

Cullipher is a senior at Hertford County High School who works part time at McDonald’s in Ahoskie. She completed 144 hours with the Summer Cadet Program. Cullipher stated she plans to enroll in the next EMT course at Roanoke-Chowan Community College.

Ward, a junior at Hertford County High School, completed 212 hours as an EMT Cadet.

“Both these students did an excellent job this summer,” Broglin said. “They volunteered their free time to learn about our EMS system.”

Broglin also mentioned a statement made by Andre Lassiter, chairman of the county commissioners, at last month’s meeting of the board.

“Mr. Lassiter talked about growing our own within our county, developing our young people to find jobs here locally, including becoming EMTs,” Broglin said.

Both EMS Cadets were presented plaques at last week’s board meeting in recognition of their dedication to complete the first Hertford County Summer Cadet Program.

“I’m very happy about this program,” said Bill Mitchell, vice-chairman of the county commissioners. “Mr. Broglin is right when he talked about a shortage of people interested in becoming an EMT. It’s a problem that’s not just here, but nationwide. We thank these two local young people for expressing an interest in this field of work. They invested well over 300 hours combined this summer.”

“I congratulate Ms. Cullipher and Mr. Ward for what they accomplished in this summer program,” stated Commissioner John Horton. “There is a critical shortage of EMTs across our nation, so it’s good to see Hertford County recognize this and attempt to recruit individuals to become EMTs.”

“Congratulations to the two cadets. I encourage others to do the exact same thing,” said Commissioner Leroy Douglas.

Lassiter thanked Broglin for his vision to establish the Summer Cadet Program.

“I still believe in what I said about growing our own in Hertford County,” Lassiter stressed. “This is step in that direction, seeing young people sacrifice their time and resources to serve others. Congratulations to both cadets.”

Those wishing to learn more about the Cadet Program are encouraged to drop by the EMS station located at 102 Industrial Park Drive, Winton (off US 158 between Winton and the new courthouse).

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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