- Gaston Emergency Medical Services
- GEMS Explorers
Explorer Post Number 24
The Gaston County EMS Explorer program has proven to be a big asset to our service. The program is designed to perform several different but related functions. It serves to educate the youth of the county about the importance of an Emergency Medical Service. Through this education process, the Explorers will gain knowledge as to the importance of the relationship between all Emergency Services providers; EMS, Police, and Fire, the responsibilities each has, and the roles they play in the community.
The members of the post will become familiar with and have knowledge of the career opportunities that are available in the field of Emergency Medical Services. This will be accomplished by the utilization of post advisors and other staff members as lectures speaking to the Explorers on the various areas of emergency care.
The Explorer program offers certification classes for the members to aid them in further continuing their education in the EMS field. All members will be offered classes in Standard First Aid, CPR, HazMat Awareness, and Bloodborne Pathogens along with other related EMS and rescue training.
Ride Along Opportunities
Explorer members will be an integrated part of Gaston County EMS by having the opportunity to ride along with crews and gain front-line, hands-on experience. GEMS Explorers work with the Paramedics as an active part of the patient care team. Members learn how to properly complete call reports and documentation, how to maintain and use EMS equipment, and how to properly care for patients through actual patient contact by helping the crew with the patient. We make sure all our members are familiar with equipment placement on the ambulance and make sure they are comfortable with assisting the paramedics while riding. The Explorer members also play a big part in special event coverage and they assist with first aid coverage for routine standby's for the department. Members are also offered the opportunity to be a part of the GEMS Bicycle Emergency Response Team and assist with bike team events serving alongside GEMS Paramedics during stand-by events and search operations.
The Gaston County EMS Explorer program offers opportunities for its members to gain experience in the field of EMS, to begin to understand the needs and problems of people throughout the county, and to obtain education and certifications in related classes. The members also become active participants in their community and learn how to take on responsibility and to deal with stressful situations while getting involved.
Members also provide the first aid coverage for the "Two Rivers Boy Scout District" annual camporees. We provide the first aid coverage for the weekend and also we provide the judging for the competition for the scout's first aid merit badge. They assist the department with providing first aid coverage for street festivals and are big players in the two largest EMS events we cover yearly. The Phoenix Air Show is a two-day event held on Labor Day weekend and draws 20,000 persons daily and the annual "Cat Fish Jam" is held in October and draws a crowd of 145,000 persons. The Explorers are a part of the extensive EMS coverage that our department deploys for both of these events.
- First Aid and CPR
- Haz-Mat Awareness
- Bloodborne Pathogens
- Mountain Search and Rescue
- Fire Fighting
- Triage and Mass Casualty Drills
- Vehicle Extrication
- Water Rescue
- Confined Space Rescue
All training is conducted under the direct supervision of highly trained experts in the field of Emergency Medical Services and Rescue Operations. Safety is our number one priority in these training exercises. All of the above classes may not be available at all times.
Ready to Join
We currently have 25 members on the roster and are accepting applications for review. Membership is open to anyone between the ages of 14 and 21, and we accept new members in the spring and fall. Our post is very active, logging over 200 hours monthly in training, event coverage, special events, and meetings. We also hold fundraisers on a regular basis to raise money for special events and trips. Our meetings are held at noon on the first and third Saturday of each month at the Gaston Emergency Medical Service Headquarters with the second meeting focusing on training.
- Email Jamie McConnell
- National Explorer Program
- National Explorer Health Section