First-ever advanced Emergency Medical Technicians certified

Guyana’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) have been amplified as nine Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) graduated as advanced Emergency Medical Technicians after completing an eight-month training programme.

The training programme was initiated by the Health and Home Affairs ministries through the Guyana Fire Service in February and they partnered with the Vanderbilt University Medical Centre, Tennessee. Training sessions were facilitated by Dr Shannon Langston, MD and Andrea Fletcher, EMT-P, RN of the said University.

Home Affairs Minister, Robeson Benn

A simple graduation ceremony was hosted for the advanced EMTs at the Project Dawn Health Care Centre on Wednesday.

Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn, Advisor to the Health Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy, Chief Fire Officer (Ag) Gregory Wickham, Director of the National Emergency Medical Services Dr Zulfikar Bux and representatives of the University were in attendance. Minister Benn gave words of encouragement to the advanced EMTs and said such service is an important one to the lives of citizens; therefore, they must deliver with compassion and not focus on its benefits. 

The nine EMTs who received certification in Advanced Emergency Medical Services

“We’re not at a stage simply where we come for the salary or the entitlements and all of those things, that’s not the first issue, the first issue is to provide good, proper and efficient service to people and so I want to thank you all for being on this pathway,” the minister stated.

He thanked the Vanderbilt Medical Centre for its contribution to the programme and implored the EMTs to apply the professional culture and discipline that they would have gained from the training.

Advisor to the Health Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy

Meanwhile, Advisor Dr Ramsammy reminisced on the times when there were ambulances in the country with no EMTs.

He said the vision was always to have paramedics in the ambulances.

“I believe we are one step closer to that dream. And so, my job today is to come and tell this nationour instructions to Dr Bux and our friends … and all of our partners that sooner than later, we should formalise the Paramedic Programme and we should ensure that in all of our regions, our professionals in the hospitals are supported by Paramedics that are on the frontline. This should be the standard of care that we provide to our people,” he said.

Director of the National Emergency Medical Services, Dr Zulfikar Bux

Dr Bux said these EMTs are the first responders to an emergency, who can do an advanced medical intervention to save a person’s life in the pre-hospital setting.

“The graduates of the programme today are the ones who can do more interventions on the scene, they can give IVs, they can give injections, they can do more invasive interventions to save life on the scene,” he noted.

Chief Fire Officer (Ag) Gregory Wickham

TheChief Fire Officer implored the advanced EMTs to serve with empathy and added, “I want to advise you that you offer to the public that service with the confidence knowing that when persons are in distress that you’ll be able to render them that assistance that is needed.”

The best graduating students of the programme were Nandaram Dat and Cleveland King. The other graduates were Orletta Crandon, Nioka Deyounge, Kelving James, Klein Knights, Andrew Patterson, Bhumika Sookdeo and Sandor Walcott.

Andrea Fletcher, EMT-P, RN of the Vanderbilt University along with an EMT
Dr Shannon Langston, MD of the Vanderbilt University along with an EMT