There were nearly 60 candidates who participated in Manchester's Emergency Medical Services Division testing over the weekend as they prepare to become EMT's.

As Manchester prepares to launch a township-run Emergency Medical Services Division within its Department of Public Safety the candidates participated in an extensive testing process run by Manchester Police which was the first step for those wishing to be considered for employment with the Division of EMS.

“The candidates appeared eager to have the opportunity be a part of this new program,” Manchester Township Police Chief Lisa Parker said. “This is an exciting time for Manchester Township, as expanding EMS is one of the largest projects I’ve seen during my 30-year career here. It is also one that will help us to better serve our community in a significant way.”

Candidates for position of Emergency Medical Technician and Emergency Medical Technician/Firefighter were both tested during this past weekend’s session.

Chief Parker said that all candidates were required to take a written examination for the position(s) they wished to be considered for and all candidates were required to complete three EMT skill stations.

The candidates who want to be considered for an EMT/Firefighter position were also required to participate in a firefighter physical agility test.

"The qualified candidates will undergo further testing and will be required to pass a thorough background investigation given the sensitive nature of their position, which will include entering residents’ homes, providing various levels of care, and handling private medical information," Parker said.

While the Division of EMS will initially launch in the first quarter of this year with only medical personnel, there is a planned second phase, according to Manchester Police, which will incorporate a few individuals with dual certification as an EMT and firefighter.

Police said that these individuals will be used to supplement the township’s volunteer firefighters during daytime hours only, when many of the volunteers are unavailable because they are working.

“By having full-time EMS personnel, we will have a dedicated group of individuals who will be able to promptly and professionally serve the community all while continuing to train and keep their skills sharp,” Chief Parker said. “Service is more than simply responding to calls. Service is about working with our community to help people better care for themselves and each other. Once up and running, we also plan to have our personnel organize and present interactive programs to the community on topics such as preventative health and safety education as well as fire safety and prevention.”

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