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LRG Healthcare offering training for new EMT requirements

LRG Healthcare is providing training for emergency medical technicians in Franklin, Laconia and Gilford to help meet a new set of national certification standards. In Franklin, the six EMTs who recently took the new test all passed on the first try, setting the department far above the national rate of passage.

“A big priority is to help the communities get their people through the transition,” said Shawn Riley, a paramedic who coordinates LRG Healthcare’s training courses.

The national registry of EMTs currently has three levels: basic, intermediate and paramedic. But new requirements are shifting the middle tier from intermediate to advanced, adding another layer of knowledge and skills. That means all intermediate EMTs have to be recertified. At some area fire departments, such as Franklin and Laconia, advanced certification is a job requirement.

“It’s a job requirement, it’s the level of service we provide to our citizens,” LaChapelle said.

In addition to a deeper medical knowledge, the new certification allows EMTs to perform more skills in the field, such as creating direct IV access to the bone, LaChapelle said. New Hampshire requires 36 hours of training, but it’s taking closer to 60 or 70 to cover all of the new material, Riley said. EMTs have six chances to pass the test.

“Franklin has a way above average success rate,” Riley said. “Nationally and in this state the pass rate is pretty abysmal. People are really struggling with this.”

With their jobs on the line, Franklin’s EMTs took the courses and their studying seriously, LaChapelle said.

“This really helped solidify the relationship between the Franklin Fire Department and LRG Healthcare,” he said.

KATHLEEN RONAYNE

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