Elkhorn FD to partner with Gateway

By Kellen Olshefski


The City of Elkhorn Public Safety Committee voted in favor of a clinical agreement between the Elkhorn Area Fire Department and Gateway Technical College at its Feb. 8 meeting.

According to a memo prepared by Elkhorn Area Fire Department Assistant Chief Dave Fladten, the program would allow students enrolled in the Advanced EMT and Paramedic programs at Gateway Technical College to complete clinical skills while doing “ride time” with the Elkhorn Area Fire Department.

The memo explains that these clinical skill opportunities are intended to create proficiency in patient assessment and management.

Fladten said the department’s interest in partnering with Gateway Technical College is because of several reasons, including the following:

  • Students exposed to the department’s operations might become interested in employment with the department (either as a paid-on-call or full-time employee);
  • Staff chosen to work with the students would be required to remain current and proficient in all EMS skill sets, and;
  • Time spent with students would allow staff to become more proficient in effective orientation of new employees.

According to Fladten’s memo, Gateway Technical College students would be able to schedule ride time with the department only when a trainer – who will be determined by the department – is schedule to be on duty. That preceptor would need to be licensed at or above the students’ desired license level.

In his memo, Fladten noted that a scheduled student would not negatively impact day-to-day operations. Also, as liability insurance for student actions is provided by Gateway Technical College and included in the students’ tuition costs, there would be no cost to the City of Elkhorn or the Elkhorn Area Fire Department.

A motion to approve the agreement was passed unanimously by the committee last week. The topic was slated for review and approval by the council at its meeting this week.


In other business

Elkhorn Area Fire Department Chief Rod Smith offered a quick update to committee members at last week’s meeting on the current hiring status at the department.

Smith said the eight of 15 applicants to pass the physical and written test earlier this month were scheduled to attend department interviews last week.

He explained that applicants who were selected to move forward after department interviews would then go before the Police and Fire Commission.


Comments are closed.