Issue 11 and Volume 135.

VOLUNTEER PARAMEDICS RESCUE/EMS The success of a Minnesota volunteer fire department in providing volunteer paramedic services has defied those who thought the expanded EMS program would fail. The lengthy training at no pay made it especially difficult, but 10 members of the White Bear Lake, Minn., Volunteer Fire Department have become certified paramedics. And their record in the field continues to be a source of pride. “Even I was doubtful at first, and there were problems,” admits White Bear Lake Fire Chief Cordon Vadnais. “But the effort was really worthwhile and now there is no turning back.” Since the advanced life support (ALS) program began in 1979, the 10 volunteer fire fighters have each spent more than 850 hours without pay training to become state certified and nationally registered paramedics. Then the program required countless additional non-paid hours of inservice training and regular monthly training. Their conversion rate for witnessed…

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