Bertha Ambulance Service is hosting an open house on Wednesday, Jan. 5, from 7-9 p.m. at the Bertha Community Center at 127 2nd Ave. NW, Bertha.

The open house is to help recruit Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). The Bertha Ambulance Service covers the cities of Eagle Bend, Bertha and Hewitt as well as surrounding townships in northern Todd County.

Bertha Ambulance chief Russ VanDenheuvel said they are in dire need of EMTs to fill their roster and schedule crews to help respond to emergency calls.

"With retirements and the already low number of EMTs, it has been difficult for some time now. If we don't get more help, we may be forced to close our ambulance service," VanDenheuvel said. "If that were to happen, you might have to wait an extra 20 minutes for another ambulance to arrive -- possibly could even cost some lives."

To help increase the number of EMTs, there will be an EMT class offered in Bertha in mid- to late January if enough people are interested. The City of Bertha will pay for the classes.

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Tri-County Health Care is running an EMT basic course starting on Feb. 8, 2022. It includes all skills necessary for the individual to provide emergency medical care at a Basic Life Support level with an ambulance service or other specialized service. The course is 144 hours of instruction including classroom, practical and emergency room education on anatomy and physiology, documentation, lifting and moving, communications, airway management, patient assessment and cardiac arrest management.

To register for the Tri-County course, contact Tom Krueger at thomas.krueger@tchc.org or 218-632-8738. The course is $1,050 with meetings on Mondays and Thursdays as well as additional skill days on Saturdays from Feb. 8 to May 19.

"Everyone is affected by health and safety, and you never know when it might be you that needs an ambulance," VanDenheuvel said. "Please consider this opportunity to help your community. There are so many rewards knowing you have helped someone when they truly needed care."

If you're interested, please contact any Bertha Ambulance member or call VanDenheuvel at 218-371-5033 or russ56437@yahoo.com.