Submitted by Clark Judge, KAA.
For the second time in the past six months, the Killingworth Ambulance Association has been forced to cancel its EMT classes. The course was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, but after careful consideration the KAA’s chief of service, Mike Haaga, decided to shut it down.
The reason: Simple. Not enough students.
”Only two people,” said Haaga, who teaches the course with wife Marguerite, the KAA’s vice president. “I really wanted to run the class, and I thought about it all day (Thursday), but it’s such a time commitment for two people.”
According to Haaga, communications with a Connecticut state official indicated that attendance for recent EMT classes state-wide has declined substantially.
“Probably has to do with COVID,” Haaga said.
The KAA had hoped to initiate its annual fall course on Sept. 2, 2021, but cancelled that instruction due to a lack of participants. That marked the third consecutive autumn the KAA had to move or cancel its EMT course. In 2019, it was moved to January, 2020, because of insufficient enrollment. One year later, it was shut down because of the COVID pandemic. Then it was cancelled again last fall.
“Very disappointing,” said Haaga.
The last time a course was completed was in 2020, and that was a success. Ten students participated, with ten completing the course – including one remotely from Idaho – and six joining the KAA. Courses historically last three-and-a-half months, with classes held Tuesday and Thursday evenings, as well as five Saturdays.
No date has been set for future instruction.
“We’ll shoot for another fall class,” said Haaga.