O'Fallon Progress

O’Fallon EMS holds open house

Jerry Sherman, supervisor of O’Fallon paramedics, and pilot Jeff Stackpole of Survival Flight.
Jerry Sherman, supervisor of O’Fallon paramedics, and pilot Jeff Stackpole of Survival Flight. For the Progress

An air medical helicopter landed, the O’Fallon Fire Department showed how they cut a vehicle to extricate an injured person, and numerous booths were set up at the EMS/Fire Headquarters building at Fire House No. 4 on Taylor Road on May 17.

The EMS Open House was organized to shine a spotlight on the vital services the Emergency Medical Services Department perform in the community. Mayor Herb Roach and the O’Fallon City Council issued a proclamation May 15 declaring May 22-26 as O’Fallon EMS Week.

“When a serious injury or accident occurs in our city, residents can rest assured that they are in good hands with the O’Fallon EMS Department,” Roach said.

The Explorer Post was on hand to help. Caleb Knobeloch, a graduate of Mascoutah High School who is in the EMT program at Southwestern Illinois College, said he preferred the environment of emergency services over working strictly at a hospital.

“There is a lot of variety,” he said.

Josh Potrawski, who attends Mascoutah High School, said he liked the hands-on aspect.

“You get experience outside the classroom,” he said.

Jeff Stackpole, a commercial pilot since 1989, brought the helicopter over from Jersey Community Hospital. He works for Survival Flight. They airlift transfers from hospitals or from accident sites to major trauma centers like SLU, Barnes and Mercy hospitals.

Tours of the facility and vehicles were available, and there were children’s activities and refreshments, too.

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