Thursday, May 04, 2006

Volunteer EMT

Warren Bell wrote on The Corner on National Review Online Greg Pollowitz from NRO's Sixers blog sends this:

I got called a chickenhawk the other day. I think one of the greatest missed opportunities since 9/11 is that the govt. didn't create a way for 30+ year old guys who want to help, but really can't, to serve. My idea is that the govt. should create a sort of "Minuteman"/volunteer paramedic corps. Thousands of guys our age would train to be EMTs to be prepared for the next 9/11. After participants get the required classroom certification, you'd have to dedicate 4 shifts a month on an ambulance crew or in an ER to maintain current. Also, after classroom certification, you'd spend two weeks at a military base getting advanced training for dirty bombs, chem attacks, etc. with a annual one week commitment for more training. These volunteer EMTs would have their medical kits with them at all times (or as much as possible). When the next 9/11 happens (or Katrina), the EMTs would have a set plan in place. From around the country, the volunteers would group up to be ordered where to go. You could have thousands of trained volunteers ready to go anywhere in the country in under 24 hrs.
As I see it, this is the only way to really have the number of first responders available for a major crisis in such a way that it is affordable. Plus, it gives guys our age the chance to do something. What do you think?
Me: I would do it. I would like to have that kind of training for any number of situations, including when I sometimes worry I might have to give myself a "MacGyver"-style tracheotomy. I assume EMT training is no small thing, but even if the training were a scaled-down version, it seems like it could come in handy in a real disaster.

This sounds like a really good idea. My health does not permit me to do it, but if I was mobile, and if this option existed, I certainly would do it. And I think he is wrong when he says that there would be thousands who would do it. I suspect the number is in thearea of a hundred thousand.

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