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EMS open house a spring tradition

Emergency Medical Services Week has become an annual tradition in Perham, and this year the obervance will be May 20 from 11-3 p.m.

Free lunch and tours will be given at the Perham EMS facility. Demonstrations of some of equipment will also be featured.

Perham EMS is a growing service in the region, with the Perham squad covering about 450 square miles.

Perham EMS services the towns of Perham, New York Mills, Dent, Richville, Vergas and Ottertail. Twelve townships are also served, including Perham, Edna, Gorman, Corliss, Dora, Evergreen, Butler, Ottertail, Dead Lake, Pine Lake, Star Lake, and Rush Lake.

Emergency Medical Services Week brings together local communities and medical personnel to publicize safety and honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine's "front line," notes Barb Bjorkland, an EMT and spokesperson for Perham EMS.

Twenty-four hour service, 365 days a year, is provided with a Paramedic and an EMT at ready at all times, backed up by a volunteer staff of 15.

Full-time staff includes a full time crew made up of EMS Director Jim Rieber; Operations Coordinator-Paramedic Mark Ebeling; Training Coordinator/Paramedic Doug Harthan; EMT Barb Bjorklund; Paramedic Kevin Swenson; EMT Andrea Young; Part-time Paramedic Brad Schmidt and Secretary Fran Knutson.

Perham EMS is an Advanced Life Support (ALS) Service. Staff responds to 911 calls along with hospital-to-hospital transfers.

Perham EMS also provides specialized care for patients on the Vent and also the CPAP machines. Training options including CPR, 1st Aid, 1st responder,EMT-basic, Emergency vehicle operations, and Bio-Terrorism response and operation. Refresher courses are also offered.

Several events throughout the year including EMS Week, pancake breakfast, Turtle Fest parade, Bingo, Perham fair, Ottertail tractor pull, standby for Perham football and any other events that may involve the need of medical care.

"We appreciate all the donations that we receive every year from businesses and the general public, With these donations we buy newer more up to date equipment to better serve our community and the surrounding areas," said Bjorklund.

The EMS Week open house is at the Ambulance station May 20, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

The PMHH Relay for Life team will be having a bake sale at the same time to earn money for the Relay For Life.