Neligh-Oakdale Elementary students had the opportunity to learn more about the Emergency Medical Services team Monday at West Ward Elementary.
Local EMTs took time out of their days to meet with the students and gave them tours of an ambulance and get to know the students for EMS week. Jared Jacob, Neligh Rescue captain, said the event was planned to help children feel more comfortable with the EMS crews.
“The reason we do this is to keep kids aware of us, not be afraid of us,” Jacob said. "When they see our equipment coming, they know not to be scared and run or not to tell us what’s going on. We want them to be comfortable with us, so we can help.”
Students had the chance to explore the ambulance, ask questions of the EMTs and even use some of the equipment, including the cot on the ambulance. Students took turns sitting on the cot while the EMTs raised it to show the students how the crew loads someone into the ambulance.
To finish the tour, the children had the chance to ride the ambulance around town to see what an ambulance ride can be like. Often times during the ride, the lights were on and sirens blared.
Jacob said driving the students around was one of his favorite aspects of the day.
“Especially when they see the other ambulance or when they see the lights on the building or something like that, hear the sirens blowing, its pretty exciting to see their little faces light up when they see all that,” he said.
The Neligh EMT team is comprised of individuals who do not work solely as first responders. While many work at other jobs as well, they are asked to respond to calls at any time, which can take time from work, family and personal time, which is why Neligh’s positions are "paid volunteer."
Jacob said he enjoys the work and doesn’t mind the time away to be a first responder.
“It’s great. I mean, this is awesome doing this with these kids, seeing their faces light up, knowing that they’re apart of something and they get to go through and see what they want to do,” he said.
Jacob was also very complimentary of his crew.
“We have a great squad,” Jacob said. “Unfortunately, a lot of them couldn’t make it today just because of the work week and stuff like that but if we’re going to be here, we’ll do a good job and we’re gonna have fun with these kids today.”
EMS week is officially next week, Jacob said. The event took place Monday due to school being finished next week.