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Posted: 05/14/14


Above, Chuck Moore, left, emergency medical technician instructor at the Romeo Engineering and Technology Center and his students show off their latest learning tool, an ambulance donated by the Bruce-Romeo Fire Department. Assistant Chief Bob Stankiewicz, right of Moore, and Fire Chief Ken Staelgraeve were on hand to help present the ambulance. Moore said the donation will provide experience in conducting medical tests while in a moving vehicle. Bottom left, students strap in a student to a stretcher in the back of the ambulance. The ambulance was donated after the fire department purchased a replacement vehicle and retired the older model from emergency runs. Bottom right, Moore and Stankiewicz discuss uses for the donated ambulance while EMT students look on.

(Observer photos by Chris Gray)

Donated ambulance to
enhance EMT program

Observer Staff Writer
      Thanks to a donation from the Bruce-Romeo Fire Department, learning for Romeo students has become a lot more realistic.
       The fire department has donated one of its used ambulances to the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program at the Romeo Engineering and Technology Center (RETC).
       Fire Chief Ken Staelgraeve said the ambulance was replaced years ago and couldn't be used for emergency runs. He said his assistant chief, Bob Stankiewicz, suggested the department donate it instead of selling it for scrap.
       "We kept it around as a utility vehicle, but it could no longer be used," he said.
       The department cleaned up the vehicle and removed its lettering before delivering it to the RETC in the winter.
       Staelgraeve, a fire science and EMT instructor at Macomb Community College, said he understands the need to have the right tools and equipment for medical students.
       "It's just another tool to add realism to their training," he said. "It's much different treating a patient in the back of a cramped ambulance than sitting in a classroom."
       EMT students ride along with fire departments as part of their clinical experience to become certified. Staelgraeve said many Romeo students have joined his department as paid-on-call employees after finishing school.
       Chuck Moore, EMT instructor, said his program has stocked the ambulance with standard equipment like a gurney. He said the plan is to drive the ambulance on a driveway next to the RETC during warmer weather to show students how different it is treating a patient in a moving vehicle.
       "It gives the students some real practical experience before they go onto their clinicals," Moore said. "It's a neat addition to the program, a huge plus."
       For instance, he said students will now have a better understanding of techniques like checking blood pressure, listening for lung sounds and loading and unloading a stretcher prior to graduating.
       "We can't possibly simulate that in the classroom," he said.
       Moore said he hopes to have decals placed on the ambulance to identify it with Romeo schools. He said the school's graphic arts program has already offered a hand in helping with the decals.
       The vehicle will be stored in the construction curriculum's room during the summer.

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