The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, based in Columbus, announced in December that more than 400,000 EMS professionals are currently nationally certified at the EMR, EMT, AEMT, or paramedic level—the highest number in the 48-year history of national EMS certification. “This speaks volumes about the value in protecting the public and that national certification is respected throughout the nation,” said Bill Seifarth, executive director of the National Registry. “The public can be assured that a nationally certified EMS professional is practicing at the same level of competency in the north, south, east, or west.”
PENNSYLVANIA: Off-Duty EMT Dies on Christmas Day
Robert Kohler Sr., 58, a career EMT at Northeastern Area EMS, died on Christmas Day at York Hospital, according to York County Coroner Pam Gay. "He did everything he could to better himself, to serve the citizens in our community," Strinestown Community Fire Chief Frosty Wertz said. Kohler was found unresponsive at the station. Coworkers were unable to revive him. His cause of death was an acute coronary event, complicated by an existing medical condition, according to Gay.
WASHINGTON: AMR Strike Averted
A labor strike called for by Teamsters Local 763—which represents about 450 Seattle-area employees of AMR—was narrowly averted Dec. 20 when the two sides reached a tentative deal. EMTs, who currently earn a starting wage of $15.54 per hour, have been negotiating a new contract with AMR for nearly a year, according to the Seattle Times. At press time union members had yet to hold a final vote on the contract. The union declined to release details of the agreement.
WISCONSIN: Laser Pointer Aborts Medical Flight
A UW Health Med Flight helicopter ambulance was forced to cancel a flight Dec. 25 when someone on the ground shined a laser pointer at its pilot. The helicopter was on its way to assist a crash victim near Pardeeville when someone pointed the laser at it, injuring the pilot and forcing its crew to abort the mission, according to WISC-TV. The helicopter was using night vision during the flight. The pilot was examined at UW Hospital's emergency department. He didn't suffer serious or permanent injuries, according to the report.