Brooten Fire Department members stepping up to the emergency responder challenge

 

January 18, 2024

RANDY OLSON

At Bonanza Valley Days in July 2014, fire fighter Mark Torkelson helps Maximus Hanson in the children's waterball wars on Central Avenue. Today Torkelson is the Brooten Fire Chief, while Hanson is a senior at B-B-E high school.

In the face of what is a national and statewide Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and emergency responder shortage that is also plaguing central Minnesota, members of the Brooten Fire Department are stepping up to the challenge.

At last Monday's (January 8) Brooten city council meeting, Brooten Fire Chief Mark Torkelson reported that 12 fire department members have completed Emergency Medical Responders (EMR) refresher courses.

An EMR provides immediate lifesaving care to critical patients who access the emergency medical services system. EMRs have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide immediate lifesaving interventions while awaiting additional EMS resources to arrive.

Torkelson also noted that 5 fire department members have sent applications to Glacial Ridge Health System to obtain eligibility to be EMR drivers.

In addition to that, Jordan Bares and Jake Steinhofer have joined the Glacial Ridge Ambulance roster as EMTs.

"Kudos to them," said Torkelson. "Being an EMT requires a lot of time and dedication."

 

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