The 2019 Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Academy on Whidbey Island gets underway on January 16. This is a joint academy with 14 recruits from South Whidbey Fire/EMS, North Whidbey Fire & Rescue and the Oak Harbor Fire Department.

Coursework begins with classroom instruction, including topics as medical and legal ethics, terminology, communications, and anatomy. It quickly moves into more hands-on scenarios. The academy is 15 weeks of study, training, and testing. Upon graduation in May, the new recruits will begin answering calls as EMTs to local emergencies and will continue to participate in trainings and drills as members of the department.

“Real emergency situations are intense, and so our academies have to be too,” according to South Whidbey Fire/EMS Deputy Chief Wendy Moffatt, who is in charge of training. “We work through quite a bit of material fairly quickly and it can be mentally, physically and sometimes even emotionally demanding. We want our new members ready to step into the role of an EMT.”

South Whidbey Fire/EMS volunteers have been responding to calls since 1950. To learn more about joining the next academy or how to volunteer with the department, contact Chief H.L. “Rusty ” Palmer at chief@swfe.org, (360) 321-1533, or 5535 Cameron Road, Freeland, Wash. 98249. Applications may be found at www.swfe.org. Additional information may also be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SWFireEMS/