Training First Responders in Rural New Mexico

Uploaded by unmhsc on 23.02.2010

DR. MARC-DAVID MUNK: I think that the UNM EMS Academy is one of the most public faces
of the Health Sciences Center. It is, at its most basic level, a way of getting health
care training to the smallest towns and the most rural areas of the state.
INSTRUCTOR JOHN COLE: [natural sound] Normal vital signs. Heart rate, respiratory rate.
What about their level of response?
DR. MARC-DAVID MUNK: We are training people who could be the next door neighbors, who
work as plumbers or bakers or lawyers or accountants and decide to serve their neighbors and the
local population by volunteering as E-M-TÕs and paramedics.
MARY HEWETT: So the people who stay and volunteer in these areas are actually people that are
tied to that community by generations at times. And they want to give back to their community
or assist their community so they choose to volunteer and they need the training to do
JOHN COLE: And the patient is conscious, weÕre talking to him and we get down there and start
assessing the skin condition, temperature, color, heart rate.
JOHN COLE: My name is John Cole and IÕm an adjunct instructor at the EMS Academy, and
I teach primarily out in the rural communities. This is an E-M-T basic course thatÕs going
on right now. WeÕre in the second weekend of the class and weÕve got nine more weekends
to go. Oh, these communities are really short-handed. Right now, today, in Magdalena here where
the class is, there are a number of EMTs in the community but only two are actively responding
to calls. So thereÕs a definite need for EMTs here.
JOHN COLE: [natural sound] Its calibration is going to be off.
MARY HEWETT: Well, we usually are in probably at least each one of the counties once or
twice a year. We train anywhere from two to three thousand students every year and the
majority of those are out in the rural areas, rather than just here in the academy.
JOHN COLE: Small population, small departments, volunteer, everyone works and then does this
on the side, volunteering their time and effort. And itÕs very difficult for someone whoÕs
holding down a job to drive to Valencia or to Albuquerque to try to take a course thatÕs
presented as a college level course.
JOHN COLE: [natural sound] And try not to reach over the patientÕs wrist.
DR. MARC-DAVID MUNK: These days weÕre looking at more innovative educational techniques.
Particularly distance delivered education. And weÕre looking to use the internet to
deliver some content over the next five or ten years time, which we think will probably
be a more efficient way of training people in small towns