STOUGHTON - If you were to come across an accident at any time, you would dial 911 and get the dispatch, located in Prince Albert.
They ask for your location and send out the nearest emergency response people to help you. This is when the EMS come onto the scene.
Diana Adams is the primary care paramedic and supervisor for the Stoughton area. Adams has held this position for approximately three years and has been a volunteer for over 20 years.
Adams is a long-time resident of Stoughton. There are eight other EMS volunteers as well. You once had to live in town to offer your services for this job, but with struggles to gain more volunteers, they changed the rules. It is now open to those that live outside of town. You still need to live close though, as time is of the essences when dealing with a call.
All of the volunteers also work full time jobs, so more help is always needed to fill the voids that may occur.
A two-week detailed course is needed for this job. Firsthand practice is done during the course as well. At the end of the course, a licensing exam with a passing mark is required. A Class 4 driver’s licence is needed to drive the ambulance.
Mandatory, yearly schooling is also part of remaining with EMS. It is based on a point system to remain licensed. Upgraded courses are also available.
Adams said they can easily receive 100 calls per year. Once on the scene of an accident, it is assessed and the injured are taken to the appropriate hospital in the area. Stroke and head injuries may go to Estevan, as they have CT scan equipment. Others may go to Weyburn or Arcola; it all depends on the situation.
Although they are trained to manage multiple situations, there are also times they need advanced care. A call is placed to dispatch and it is arranged in a quick manner.
There are all levels of EMS services. The STARS Air Ambulance is one that requires advanced care paramedics and critical care paramedics.
Adams continued to say that their area is quite large, but when more services are needed, a quick call again sends more help to the area.
During the time of COVID and the restrictions, Adams said getting on all the personal protective equipment was time consuming and it was all extremely hot to wear.
During these times, it could get difficult for the members to mentally manage a situation. They give each other support at all times. They are a tight-knit group. Adams often calls her crew to make sure everyone is doing okay. The outcome of accidents does not always go as they would like, and then the support is needed more than ever. Counsellors are also always available.
The ambulance is housed at the Stoughton Fire Hall and is maintained by the board. It is always in tip-top shape to be ready to go out on call.