Chautauqua Needs More EMTs

Chautauqua County has had a problem in recent years having enough emergency medical technicians to respond as quickly as needed to accident scenes.

Kudos to Sheriff Joe Gerace and Julius Leone, Chautauqua County emergency services director, for coming up with a way to solve that problem without adding additional cost to taxpayers by training Chautauqua County Sheriff’s deputies to also serve as EMTs. The training, which is being conducted in conjunction with Chautauqua County Emergency Services, is expected to bring an additional layer of EMTs to the community, and accordingly, quicker response times. Training is voluntary for active deputies. Thumbs up to the eight deputies who have already volunteered for the training. Five more deputies – including Gerace – will take the training starting March 29. It’s good to see Gerace is making EMT training an integral part of Sheriff’s Academy training. Over time, all deputies will be EMTs.

“We believe this is going to make a huge impact in people’s lives here in Chautauqua County,” Gerace said. “In many areas of the state and the nation, there is a real struggle to get EMTs out to a scene, especially during times when they’re working or in the middle of the night. Our goal here is to train as many deputies as we can as EMTs so they can respond along with the fire services.”

Chautauqua County has been hit doubly hard by an aging population and a shrinking population that has cut into the number of volunteers with the time and ability to be a volunteer firefighter or EMT. Augmenting the dedicated volunteer force by training deputies as EMTs is as good a way as any to make sure an EMT is always available when needed.