Woman grateful to join local EMS squad
RANDOLPH - Kayla Korth has always been grateful for the local EMS squad, but as the newest member she has a newfound admiration for those she serves alongside. "Each of the members on the squad are very helpful and give advice when needed and teach as we go; I cannot thank them enough for accepting me and leading by example," Korth said. "It has been a great experience to help the people of our community or those traveling through in their most critical times of need." Korth already works in the medical field as a speech language pathologist so it wasn’t too large of a leap to EMT. A lifelong resident of Randolph, she also isn't shy about helping her community. "It is a joy to assist the people I have known my whole life and also new members to the community and be a person they can feel comfortable with," she said. Korth attended an online, accelerated EMT course through the School of EMS with hands-on skills days hosted by her employer, Providence Medical Center in Wayne. After the four-month course, Korth passed a written exam and a skills assessment. She was also required to complete 120 hours of "ride time" on the ambulance to practice skills and training with assistance from other licensed EMTs.
"To be honest, everyone you talk to tells you how hard the class is, so I knew that going in and then I took the accelerated class. It was very difficult; it took a lot of time studying and staying up late and making sure you went on as many ambulance calls as you can," Korth said. "My family was vital in all of the help doing things when I needed to study or be on a call." The required training hours usually deters individuals interested in becoming an EMT but it's absolutely necessary for success in the field, said Rescue Chief Tony Backer.
Last year, the Randolph squad responded to 158 calls which includes helping neighbor communities in mutual aid. "It's one of those things you don't think about until you're calling and needing it," he said. "Waiting just a few minutes to someone really needing it, it could feel like hours. We’re one of the fastest here in Cedar County. We can generally get pages to call, generally on scene in two to four minutes. We're pretty fortunate on that aspect." The local squad is enjoying its new ambulance. "That was a big deal for us. We desperately needed it and got it in service right away," he said. The squad will host is annual BBQ to the Rescue rib cook-o fundraiser to help cover payments for the new rig as well as an exponential price increase in medical supplies. "Since the COVID pandemic, there’s been a huge increase on prices in medical supplies that still continues to this day," Backer said. "Even simple stu like gloves is ridiculously high priced and probably will be for a while." Randolph’s ambulances are insured by the City of Randolph but the EMS service is self-supportive. "The day to day operations are solely based o of donations we receive and operating bills,” Backer said. This year's BBQ to the Rescue is set for Aug. 12. Korth said being an EMT in her own community has been much better than she expected. "I really enjoy it. I believe that in life you should always be learning. This new role for me has been rewarding to be able to be a calm to someone's storm," she said. "If you see an EMT, thank them for their service, time, and dedication."