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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

John Meaney Jr. To Teach EMT Curriculum

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Tuesday, December 13, 2005

EMT education lead instructor John Meaney Jr.
North Adams – The North Adams Ambulance Service was designated as an accredited emergency medical technician training facility on Dec. 1, and the first basic level EMT training session is slated to begin on Jan. 10.

The state Office of Emergency Medical Services awarded the three-year accreditation after a thorough review of the planned curriculum and a November site visit. The accreditation allows the NAAS to offer both basic and intermediate EMT training.

John Meaney Jr. Lead Instructor

John Meaney Jr. of North Adams will be the lead instructor for the training program. Meaney is a state certified instructor and coordinator and is a paramedic with the NAAS. Assisting Meaney with training sessions are NAAS general manager Michael Gleason, who is a paramedic, office manager and EMT Paige Gleason, and EMTs Michael Tessier, Lynn Richardson, Rob Luckritz, and Robert Dobbert.

The EMT training program will be offered from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday evenings; the enrollment cost is $600. The program is scheduled to conclude on April 27. Each training session may enroll a maximum of 20 students and so far, 40 individuals have expressed an interest in the training, Meaney said.

“I can’t say that all these people will follow through, so I would encourage anyone who is interested to pick up an application,” Meaney said during a Dec. 13 interview.

News of the accreditation was met with an “ecstatic, thrilled” reaction from Gleason and Meaney, the two said.

“We need more basic EMTs,” Gleason said. “The whole area needs more basic EMTs, and we want to produce good EMTs. That is my concern, that we produce good EMTs.”

NAAS Program Exceeds State Requirements

The NAAS program will exceed state requirements, Meaney said. State requirements permit an instruction hour range of 110-150 hours; the NAAS training session will require 140 hours of instruction. The NAAS training will also include mandatory ambulance ride-alongs as well as some mandatory observation time at the North Adams Regional Hospital Emergency Department.

At the end of the program, Meaney will administer a test and prospective EMTs must also pass a state examination before EMT certification is achieved.

Gleason said that the NAAS could use about 10 part-time basic level EMTs and he believes that ambulance services such as the Village Ambulance Service in Williamstown and the Adams-based Adams Ambulance Service has need for more part-time basic EMTs.

Kudos From State Officials

Earning state accreditation meant that Meaney spent about six months assembling curriculum and establishing procedures and protocols. All aspects of the training program had to be prepared prior to launching the accreditation process, Meaney and Gleason said.

"It's a long process and you have to have everything set up before you can even begin with seeking accreditation," Meaney said.

“I think that this is a feather in our cap,” Gleason said.

A letter from Russ Johansen, education and training program coordinator for the Office of Emergency Medical Services, offered praise for the program designed by Meaney.

“I would like to add that the accreditation review team was extremely impressed with your presentation and the up-to-date training facilities and equipment reviewed during our site visit,” Johansen’s letter states.

Those enrolled in the upcoming session will hear lectures and receive practical, hands-on training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, use of automated external defibrillators, splinting, backboarding, bandaging, and wound care techniques, and other essential skills.

The NAAS is currently the only Berkshire region facility with an accredited EMT education program open to the public. Williams College offers an accredited program to students of that college only.

Meaney said that he is very eager to begin the training sessions. Additional sessions will be scheduled once the first training is finished, he said.

“We are very excited to have this teaching opportunity,” he said.

Those interested in enrolling in the EMT training may contact Meaney or Gleason at 413-664-6680. Applications to the program may be e-mailed to prospective students or may be picked up at the NAAS headquarters at 10 Harris St. [off of River Street next to the Salvation Army building].

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush@iberkshires.com or at 802-823-9367.
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