At a time when rural areas are facing critical shortages of emergency medical professionals, we are pleased to recognize the Powers Lake Ambulance Service for recently being named the Northwest Region Squad of the Year for 2015. The intent of this award is to recognize a service that significantly contributes to the provision, development and improvement of pre-hospital care and the EMS education of their community. Powers Lake is recognized for their dedication and hard work in implementing the Cardiac Ready Community program.
In addition, Cole Bentley, a member of the squad, also received the Northwest Region Rising Star award at the North Dakota EMS State Conference. Cole is responsible for the data entry for the ambulance service. This award honors an individual who is new to the field of pre-hospital care and shows rapid improvement, exemplary skills and takes on added responsibility. Bentley responded to the most calls in the community in 2015.
From the Burke County Tribune: In 2015, the Powers Lake Ambulance Service began to realize how important CPR was in the community. The group applied for and received gaming monies which allowed them to offer a CPR class free of charge with all materials included. Thirty-five community residents took part and became CPR-certified. Not long after, during an emergency medical services conference, trained volunteers from Powers Lake were asked if they would be interested in participating in a pilot project for a Cardiac Ready Community. Squad members didn't have to think about it before agreeing it was a much needed project for the community.
CPR instructors trained more than 200 people including 67 students in grads 7-12 at Powers Lake School. In addition, other events have taken place to improve cardiac health such as blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, fundraising support the American Heart Association and continued community CPR training classes, including at the high school. Several businesses in the community are now equipped with automated external defibrillators (AEDs) including several churches, fire department vehicles, The Country Store, Country Fresh Foods, Food Barn, and Farmers Union Oil. Many rural members on the ambulance service have an AED in their homes which makes them able to respond more quickly in their areas if the need arises.
Energy Impact grants and grants from the Powers Lake City and Rural Ambulance District made it possible to purchase a new ambulance in 2015 and also construct a new building in 2012. The organization now has two fully-equipped ambulances and a very nice facility to house them. Their volunteers are well-trained and ready for service when needed.
With everything they have going for them, Powers Lake is still always in need of new volunteers. Anyone interested in taking an EMT or EMR class is asked to contact them at 464-5566.