Marquette Council donates toward EMS training equipment

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The Marquette City Council, at its Aug. 16 meeting, approved donating $1,045.88 to the Mar-Mac Rescue Squad to cover half the cost of new CPR mannequins and an adult airway management trainer. 

The items will cost a total of $2,100.

The adult airway management trainer, said Mar-Mac EMT Liz Gilman, will allow EMTs to practice putting in airways. 

The CPR mannequins, she said, will include two adult mannequins, as well as two child mannequins and one infant.

“They will help make sure compressions and breaths are correct,” Gilman said, adding, “the CPR trainers are not just for us. I utilize them when I teach CPR.”

Gilman said she charges a minimal $10 fee for CPR classes, which are offered to the community.

“We’re not making millions,” she said. “That’s why we’re asking for help. We’re always using them.”

As a result, Gilman noted, the 5-year-old mannequins the service has now are pretty beat up.

Fellow EMT Samantha Kohls said purchasing training equipment might not seem as important to some people, but it comes in handy when EMTs perform, at most, 10 CPR calls each year.

“We’d much rather practice on the dummies than you,” she said.

The rescue squad receives funding from the local governments each year to go toward operating costs. Those who utilize the service are also charged. However, said Gilman and Kohls, Mar-Mac charges the least of area services and, out of 10 calls, they estimate payment is received for only three.

“We eat that cost,” Kohls said.

With the purchase of a new rig, which will run around $165,000, looming two years from now, the budget is even tighter, the two said.

Fundraising can also be difficult for a small crew, Gilman said, especially when Mar-Mac’s volunteers have full-time jobs.

“We don’t want to charge an arm and a leg to continue to serve our communities,” she said. “We’re just asking for help.”

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