Once a wildlife specialist at Hardy Lake State Recreational Area and lately a Spanish teacher at Scottsburg High School, Tammy Davis is definitely a gal on the go.
The energetic Davis has taken on a load of responsibility with her new job as the full-time training officer for Scott County EMS employees and for the EMS Training Institute housed in the same facility near the Scott Memorial Hospital campus.
Davis was approved for the new full-time job by Scott County Commissioners in July. She started the job on August 1.
“I've enjoyed every job I've had,” she said, “and I hate to leave teaching, but this is an opportunity to expand our training program that would be crazy to pass up.”
Davis is very familiar with Scott County EMS. She began as the Emergency Medical Services' first employee in April, 2005, as a part-time Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). She eventually served as the EMS' part-time training officer for 5½ years.
The Training Institute was created in 2006 to provide training to those interested in ambulance jobs. “To have a training institute meant that we'd have a better chance of keeping a good crop of potential employees. It addressed that shortage (of trained personnel) plus we were able to provide other training needed by others in the community, such as first aid and CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation),” explained Davis.
Currently, the Institute is seeking accreditation, which will lead to teaching more folks wanting to become paramedics and advanced EMTs.
The recent improvements in the EMS facility, christened the Raymond W. Jones Emergency Medical Services Complex in a ceremony held earlier this spring, have certainly helped this goal. It now boasts an attractive and well-equipped classroom facility as well as plenty of space for employees to keep their training up-to-date and/or relax between ambulance runs.
Jones is a member of the Scott County Council who will be retiring in December from that position. He was one of the key people who saw the need for the county to operate its own ambulance service and worked to accomplish the goal.
Currently, the EMS crew has an annual call volume of 4,800 to 5,000, which includes 9-1-1 calls as well as inter-facility transfers. Two ambulance are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Another ambulance is used as a stand-by vehicle. The staff has two full-time administrators, 12 who work on the ambulances and approximately 20 part-time employees.
“The County Council took a huge step for us to take on this training responsibility full time, not only for our own crew but also for others seeking to become EMS professionals and others in the county who want to be well-informed and instructed in emergency procedures,” advised Davis.
John Morgan and Morgan Foods Inc. also deserve a vigorous nod of appreciation, since the company is paying the position's salary for one year. “I think he and the company see it as a very good investment in the health of the community,” noted Davis.
Davis has some ambitions of her own. “I want to be able to get out and visit schools and talk to kids, maybe some simple rules of health for the young ones and get into the careers available in the field with the older ones. I also hope to talk to local organizations and business staffs to help them become aware of what we are available to do and provide for the community,” she said.
To that end, Davis said a CPR class will be offered at 9 a.m. each Wednesday at the Training Institute for anyone wishing to learn that skill starting August 24. On the first Saturday of each month, an American Heart Association (AHA) basic course for healthcare providers will be offered from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, and an AHA heart saver class from 1 to 5 p.m. for the general public. Persons interested in any of these classes may call administrative assistant Pat Forbes at 812-752-0500, ext. 21, to reserve a seat.
The Institute also offers an emergency vehicle operations course, medical Spanish and Naloxone training. By earning accreditation, the center will also be able to affiliate with area hospitals and provide training to paramedics.
Davis will continue to teach an EMT class at Scottsburg High School. The course is open to any student in Scott County and prepares them for taking state certification testing right after graduation and becoming EMTs. “It's the only class of its kind in the state, and it's just like what is offered through Prosser or Ivy Tech. If a high school student is interested in emergency medicine, it's a great place to start,” advised Davis.
Certainly that goes along with Davis' goal to continue to strengthen collaboration with other people, be they tied to local fire departments, schools, nursing homes or police departments.
“Anything that will make our community a better place in which to live and work, that's what we want to do,” she said.
Asked for his comment on this latest commitment to health, Councilman Jones was more than complimentary to his fellow Councilmen and the county's Commissioners as well as Morgan Foods Inc. “I'm proud and pleased about how things are going. I don't see anything this growth could be but a viable asset to our general health and local healthcare,” Jones stated.