Nine new UNHS EMT’s certify

Utah Navajo Health System, Inc. just added nine new EMT’s and two recertified EMT’s to bolster its roster of EMS personnel in Montezuma Creek and Monument Valley.

According to Dustin Coggeshell, UNHS EMS Director, Patient Transport Director, Advanced EMT and AHA Site Coordinator, the new batch of EMT’s is divided evenly between the two sites, with new EMT’s at each site. The two recertified EMT’s, Harold Todachinnie and Debbie Benally, are from Montezuma Creek. Debbie Benally recently joined the UNHS family as a Non-Emergency Transport Dispatcher and EMT.

The new EMT’s are:

Montezuma Creek – Cherina Poyer, Daren Roberts, Lynette Benally, Sarah Kay, Sarahfina Kay and Kathleen Sam.

Monument Valley – Catalina Johnson, Tommy Yazzie and Raynelle Jones.

All eleven new and recertified EMT’s have been certified under the Utah Department of Health.

However, Coggeshell explained, after July 1 all new and recertified EMT’s will no longer certify under the State of Utah. Instead, they will be required to certify under the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. He said this is a separate organization that oversees certifications throughout the nation. It requires recertification every two years rather than four years as required by the State of Utah. It also requires challenging written and practical recertification tests every two years. Coggeshell said with the State of Utah, if an EMT wanted to recertify and had kept up with the mandatory training hours and continuing education, they were automatically recertified with- out having to take a written or practical test after July 1. He said it will cost more to recertify under the National Registry, but he feels EMT’s will be better qualified under the national system.

Coggeshell also reported that Evans Holly, UNHS Accounts Receivable Manager and Garrett Holly, UNHS Business Office Manager, will receive training in how to work with the new changes to the ground ambulance medical reimbursement passed by the Utah State Legislature with SB 172. This new law will help increase the Utah Medicaid Reimbursement rate for ground ambulance service. Coggeshell said this will benefit UNHS because a majority of UNHS patients are on Medicaid.

Ray Whaley and Otis Oldman, the two UNHS Paramedics, will be in St. George later this month for Advanced Cardiac Life Support Instructor training at the Dixie Applied Technology College. This will allow them to teach ACLS classes at all four UNHS sites in San Juan County. These trainings will be for providers, EMS employees and nurses, Coggeshell said.

Coggeshell also reported that Whaley is the new UNHS Fleet Coordinator. He said UNHS is expanding and wants someone to focus strictly on management of its vehicle fleet. The responsibilities include fleet management, registration renewal, safety inspections, vehicle maintenance and upkeep, and coordinating with fleet mechanics on a regular basis. He will move into the new UNHS Ambulance Garage. He will also focus more on EMS training, Interfaculty Ambulance Transport and ambulance runs.

Congratulations to all the new EMT’s and Ray Whaley on their new positions.

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