Hampton Union, Tuesday, March 16, 2004
HAMPTON - Three Hampton Fire Department firefighters have completed an intense one-year school to achieve the paramedic-level emergency medical technician certification.
Firefighters Peter Wahl, Jim Squires and Buck Frost recently graduated from the New England Emergency Medical Services Institute in Manchester.
EMT Paramedic, as it is nationally known, is the highest level of pre-hospital training available in the nation for firefighter/EMTs. This 1,200-hour program provides extensive training in pre-hospital pharmacology, advanced airway and cardiac management and advanced trauma to patients. Graduates of the paramedic program become leaders in pre-hospital care.
Firefighter Wahl, also a Hampton resident, said he felt compelled to obtain this advanced training to expand his treatment of children in the field. Too often, he said, his experiences have been frustrating as his basic level of training limited his treatment abilities. Wahl, soon to be the proud father of twins, knows now that becoming a paramedic will allow him to be more aggressive with treatment upon arrival with children and adults. He hopes that his advanced training will save lives in the future, especially children, as he has taken an added interest in pediatric care.
Hampton Fire Department established the paramedic program in 1993 under former Fire Chief William "Skip" Sullivan. He then authorized the first four firefighters begin paramedic training.
"Skip had the vision to see that Hampton residents would be well served in the future to have paramedics respond locally to improve the quality of patient care to the community," Fire Chief Hank Lipe said.
Today, Wahl, Squires, and Frost bring the number of Hampton paramedics to 16.
Chief Lipe concluded, "I am proud of the most recent graduates and I am proud as fire chief that we offer the citizens and guests of Hampton the best pre-hospital care available. We strive to deliver a service second to none."