“For Ambulance, I knew of it, what I didn’t know was the EMT”. These were the words of the newly trained Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Samuel Owusu at the Paramedic and Emergency Care Training School (PECTS), Nkenkaasu in the Offinso North District, Ashanti Region. The 29-year old newly passed out EMT  told me he did not actually know anything about the work of the EMT though he was working in the health sector.
EMT Samuel Owusu who was among the 433 EMTs that passed out on Friday, 22nd November, 2019 at PECTS  shared his story with me during the ceremony. According to him, he got enlisted into the National Ambulance Service in 2018. Samuel Owusu hail from Bibiani, in the Western North Region. He was a Medical Diagnostic Ultrasonographer (in Ultrasound Scan) prior to joining the National Ambulance Service. As a health provider himself, he told me, he did not have much information about the National Ambulance Service and its  personnel.  What he knew was just about the Ambulance which is used for transporting patients from one hospital to the other. What he did not know about turns out to be the core function of the service,  providing pre- hospital emergency care to the sick and injured and transporting them to an appropriate health facility. Providing pre-hospital emergency care to the community at roadside, domestic, industrial, etc.

PECTS was established by the National Ambulance Service (NAS) in 2013 under the able leadership of the service, Prof. Ahmed Nuhu Zakariah and commissioned in September, 2016 during the passing out of 288 batch eight (8) basic EMTs. The school, as the only one in West Africa, is to train Emergency Medical service (EMS) professionals.
The minister for Health,   Hon. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, who was the reviewing Officer for the Passing Out Parade of the Batch 9 Emergency Medical Technicians was joined by Prof. Zakariah, the current CEO of the service to inspect the parade. Hon. Tina Mensah, Deputy Minister for Health and the MP Offinso North/Deputy Minister for Local Government & Rural Development, Hon. Augustine Collins Ntim were among the team of dignitaries that inspected the parade.

So far, PECTS has trained three (3) batches of EMTs, which includes one batch of Advanced EMTs and two batches of the basic EMTs. The Advanced EMTs are those that enter the school with first degree as the basic requirement. They are trained and graduate as senior officers of the service. The basic qualification for EMT or basic EMT is SHS certificate or its equivalent, also trained and pass out as junior officers of the service. The service has trained in totality nine (9) batches of the EMT basics and two (2) of the Advanced EMT batches. The third batch of the Advanced EMTs are currently on training at the school. Seven (7) of these basic EMTs batches and the first batch of the Advanced EMTs were trained at the Fire Academy and Training School (FATS) and the Asutsuare Military Training Camp by the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) respectively.
As narrated by Sammy, who passed through a vigorous series of assessment before getting into the school, said ” I thought I was  just going to pass through the normal procedure for public servants recruitment, little did I know that my entire life was going to change”.  In 2018, Sammy was invited to FATS, James Town, for attitude test, interview and inspection of documents for recruitment process. Then, he later went for the medical exams. That was the beginning of the life changing profession.
According to him, his entire training was in three phases, class room lectures and physical drills at PECTS, hospital clinical attachment and the Ambulance station attachment. The physical drills department of the school, headed by the Chief Drill Instructor, Advanced EMT Slater D. Banini was in full control of his work and did everything possible with his eleven (11) energetic and vibrant drill instructors to strip off the civilian cloths and then initiated all the recruits into the paramilitary family. Combining academic work with drills was really hard. The head of the academics, Snr.AEMT Sampson Donkor will make sure no page of the EMS book is left unopened. The academic facilitors made up of Medical Doctors, Paramedics, Nurses and other professionals were always on time during lecture periods. Snr. AEMT Vitus Agongo, the Administrator, representing the C.E.O of the service was really on top of his work. He will go all out to make things work for the goodness of the National Ambulance service and mother Ghana.
“Everything at PECTS and about the NAS has really prepared and equipped me to save lives. As a Medical Diagnostic Ultrasonographer, were I use to only diagnose my patients at Divine Love Hospital, now I am into providing the actual medical care using the Ambulance. My lifestyle as a civilian has also changed drastically to a paramilitary personnel. My understanding of general issues, emergency situations, time management, discipline, law and order, etc has been transformed. I,m a new Sammy. I graciously thank Prof. Zakariah and the entire management of the National Ambulance Service for making this day a successful one”. EMT Samuel’s remarks. The newly trained EMT then concluded “I, am trained to save lives with my Ambulance, not to carry the dead”.
The awards winners for this batch included: Recruit EMT Abdulai Fati winner for the CEO’s award and the over all Best Recruit, Recruit EMT Pokuaah Janet won the Best in Practicals, Recruit EMT Salia Samed Silas was the Best in Academics,  The parade Commander, Owusu Oscar also won the Best in foot Drill. The Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) for the parade was Snr.EMT Abubari Abdul-Razak, a drill instructor at the school. The ceremony was very successful and colorful.

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1 comment

Bright Ofori November 26, 2019 at 1:17 pm

A very big Thanks to u Officer,for Educating the General public about the service.We are trained to save lives
Emergency Medical Technicians(EMT).A proud Officer👨‍✈️🚑


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