St. James Emergency Medical Service personnel work to ensure that members of the community receive proper care in a timely manner.
St. James is fortunate to have a dedicated and experienced crew of EMS personnel, with 28 members.
St. James EMTs respond to medical emergencies and collect a large amount of transfers. Transfer patients are sent to larger specialized hospitals and a higher level of care in cities like Rochester, New Ulm, Mankato and even as far as Duluth.
EMT and paramedics work in any type of weather and all sorts of situations.
The work can be stressful and physically demanding, but is a vital part of emergency services. An EMT is typically among the first on scene at any traumatic event, including structure fires and auto accidents. It is their job to assess the situation and begin medical treatment of any injured individuals.
An EMT will work with police and firefighters on the scene of an accident. Very often, the life of an accident victim relies heavily on the training and experience of the EMTs taking care of them.
Minnesota winters can be challenging for first responders and the job of an EMT can be especially challenging during the long and snowy winter. On some occasions, the ambulance crew must rely on city snow plows to lead them through a storm to a patient.
Member of the EMS unit in St. James, Dusty Fedder is remembered this year as he passed away this March. He was honored last year with the Life Saver Award for his work during a car accident in April of 2012. Fire and EMS Departments of Brooklyn Park, Nicollet, St. Peter, all Watonwan County Fire Departments, and more drove downtown St. James as a single unit honoring their lost brother during his funeral held in March. There were 77 people from 25 departments total.
The procession of cars filled first avenue for as far as the eye could see in both directions. Fedder’s work was an example of how important EMS is to the citizens in Watonwan County. Emergency Service Personnel serve the area with dedication and knowledge of the medical field.
The EMS crew meets the first Tuesday of every month in the EMS building. There is always a need for more volunteers, and another EMT class will be offered in August and is available online. The city of St. James will pay the tuition for the course in exchange for two years of service.
To become an affective EMT, an applicant should be a good student, have a valid driver’s license and have the ability to work six shifts a month. St. James Ambulance allows ride-alongs to ensure that potential applicants will be able to handle the work. The test to gain EMT status is a difficult one. Passion for patient care is important in an applicant.
Page 2 of 2 - Ambulance Manager J.D. Dexheimer said she joined the squad shortly after moving back to the area because she knew they needed help and she wanted to give back to the community.
Members of EMS are compensated for their effort, and recently received an increase in payroll from the city council. St. James City Council Members realized the importance of having a well-trained and willing EMS core and believed an increase in payroll would benefit the area and make it easier to find volunteers.
Anyone interested in joining the EMS crew can contact J.D. Dexheimer for more information at 507-380-0215.