Seventeen employees of Saint Michael's Medical Response completed the Emergency Vehicle Operators Course (EVOC) conducted by the Department of Public Safety from Sept. 4 to 8 and from Sept. 10 to 14 at the Commonwealth Ports Authority Training Facility.
According to Francis S. Taimañao, St. Michael's chief of operations, “the certification course is geared towards equipping ambulance drivers with the skills and knowledge to ensure the safe operation of ambulance vehicles in emergency situations, enhance safe driving practices, and most importantly ensure the safety of patients and the public.”
The 40-hour training conducted by Police Sgt. Anthony I. Macaranas and Police Officer Norris Kwon consisted of in-classroom and field training, as well as written and field tests. The course included a wide range of topics such as Legal Aspects of Emergency Vehicle Operations, Operational Risk Management, Selecting Routes, Reporting Emergency Vehicle Operations, Physical Forces and Emergency Vehicle Control, and Handling Unusual Situations, to name a few. The field training allowed the trainees to practice and apply maneuvers learned in the classroom setting.
The course was a re-certification for most of St. Michael's employees and certification for those recently hired by the company.
According to Derek T. Hocog, St. Michael's director ofoperations, “while the EVOC training is not mandated under CNMI laws, St. Michael's values its patients' safety first and foremost, and thus voluntarily made it a requirement for their drivers since opening its doors back in 2008. The training and re-certification is a requirement for continued employment with the company.” In fact, this commitment to providing quality patient care is nowhere more evident than when St. Michael's hired a certified trainer from off-island to train its employees before it transported its first patient.
“In addition,” Hocog says, “we now have new employees on board that are also tasked with providing the Call-A-Ride program services. It is important that both our new and experienced employees have practical knowledge and learn effective techniques to keep themselves, and our clients, safe on the road.”
The training represents the successful collaboration and public-private partnership between Saint Michael's, the first and leading private ambulance company in Micronesia, and DPS and CPA.