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EMS operates under variance
By Bev Odom/The Red River Sun—
WELLINGTON – At the recent public meeting, Wellington Emergency Medical Service (WEMS) Administrator Farris Nation explained the variance necessary to operate. Due to COVID-19, Nation also used social media to educate the community on the staff modification.
“The variance we have applied for with State (Texas Department of State Health Services) allows us to operate an ambulance on 911 calls with one of our certified personnel and a lay person driving,” he said. “We normally try get a deputy or a firefighter, and typically have to use one an average of once a month.”
The minimum staffing requirement without the variance is at least two certified Emergency Care Attendants while responding to and transporting emergency patients. WEMS continuously works to obtain more personnel in hopes of not having to operate under the variance according to Nation.
For any questions concerning the variance, contact Nation at 806-205-1891 or WEMS located at 703 Ft. Worth St. at 806-447-1417 during office hours.
Currently, Nation, Charmayne Hampton and other EMTs are teaching an Emergency Medical Technician class that began Oct. 22. Students include Tara Barnett of Paducah, Alisha Collins and Leslie Erwin of Childress, Levi Fullbright and Jacob Moon of Shamrock and Samantha Blacksher, Noah Downing, Sierra Hartman and Carle Kemp of Wellington.
In addition, Nation recently obtained the Advanced EMT certification with classes and clinicals over the past eight months.
“Paramedic friends told me the AEMT was the hardest of all the EMT courses and they were correct,” Nation said. “I studied harder than ever and Nov. 7, I took the National Skills exam and passed all requirements the first time. Nov. 8 was the last clinicals, then I took the National Registry computer-based exam and passed”.
Nation expressed his appreciation to everyone at WEMS who covered for him while he attended the courses, worked the required clinical hours and tested. Hampton has completed all requirements for the AEMT as well, and takes her State Registry exam Dec. 3.
WEMS staff in addition to Nation and Hampton includes AEMTs Preston Barlow and Michael Ryan, EMTs Chantelle Hampton, Pat Needham, Matt Orr and Valerie Vaughn-Matthews and Emergency Medial Responders Noah Downing and Sierra Hartman. Kirby Campbell serves as treasurer.
Tammy Riley, RN-Paramedic and Westin Williams, EMT, assist when not working elsewhere.