Darien EMS-Post 53 recognized 24 students May 31 at its annual Family Night who graduated from an intensive six-month emergency medical technician training program to become state certified.

In addition, five adults completed the course and will join Post 53 as advisers.

The students celebrated their accomplishments with parents and graduating Post seniors, who were also recognized for their years of service, which included more than 4,000 volunteer hours.

The EMT course, which began in October, is a college-level curriculum sanctioned and managed by the state of Connecticut. Students receive their certification after successfully completing written and practical tests following 160 classroom and observation hours.

The content of the course includes trauma and medical assessments, CPR and AED, airway management, medical emergencies, trauma management, handling special populations of geriatric and pediatric patients, psychological emergencies and mass casualty incidents. The course focuses on any medical emergencies that occur outside the hospital. In each case, the EMT learns how to handle the patient from assessment to treatment.

"I am always moved by the intelligence, dedication and empathy that our young adults demonstrate," said Ron Hammer, director of Darien EMS-Post 53.

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Students applied all they learned in an "extrication" exercise in May, simulating a serious highway accident where several people are trapped in overturned vehicles. The Noroton Heights Fire Department participated in the exercise with the EMT class, which faced difficult life-saving situations to get their "victims" safely on their way to the hospital. This is the 34th year the course has been taught at Darien EMS.