The Panama Volunteer Fire Company received a grant from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation to purchase three sets of CPR mannequins and an AED trainer to help with the instructional training of CPR to firefighters and emergency medical technicians in the Panama and Clymer Fire Departments. The materials will also be available for training through the school district as well as local churches.
According to Kendrya Sheldon, Panama Volunteer Fire Company president and EMS captain, all EMTs, regardless of experience level, must take refresher courses every year. Most courses are offered in Jamestown or Mayville, but with the availability of the CPR mannequins and AED trainer in Panama, volunteers will no longer need to travel for those courses, and will even be able to practice more frequently in their fire house.
“We are trying to provide the highest level of care to our residents as we can and the more we are able to train, the more we are able to do,” Sheldon said.
Many calls require mutual aid, meaning volunteers from both departments respond to an emergency. At this time, the Panama Volunteer Fire Company has six EMTs on standby, while the Clymer Fire Department has 10, with two completing their training this year.
“We are trying to do the best we can with more calls and fewer volunteers,” Brian Willink, Clymer Fire Department EMS captain said. “Just last year, we had 220 calls.”
For individuals interested in volunteering their time with either organization, Sheldon recommends stopping in to the respective fire station Tuesday nights during radio checks to complete an application.