Atlantic Motorcar Center employees all CPR-trained

Posted:  Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 7:45am

Bruce J. Howes, owner of Atlantic Motorcar Center in Wiscasset, has been training for an advanced emergency medical technician (AEMC) license and as part of that training, he is required to complete a civic leadership component.

Howes chose to fulfill the component by teaching CPR and defibrillator use to his team during the last week of July. “I thought ‘Where better to do it than with the people I work with,’” said Howes. “I thought, ‘let me teach the people I work with’ because we have people in and out of the business throughout the day, people of all kinds of demographics — there’s younger people, children, elderly folks— so it’s a great tool to have.”

With about 12 people on his team, Howes said even though everyone knew where the defibrillator is, there was never really a plan for its use. Howes said the defibrillators have a video with step by step guidance on how to use the device. “But If you’ve never done it, it’s a stressful situation. So, even if you have (the video), it’s still good to have those skills.”

In addition to the civic leadership component, the six-month training program Howes has been taking consists of two nights of classes per week, labs, truck time, and clinical work, of which Howes has done 156 hours at Maine General Emergency Department in respiratory and endoscopy. Already an EMT, Howes works with two local EMS services.

What will he do after obtaining his AEMT license? “I’m probably going to go get my paramedic’s license — that would be my goal after I work as an advanced EMT. I’ve always had an interest in medicine.”

Howes said he took an advanced trauma class at an outdoors school about two years ago in case anything ever happened in the outdoors. His instructor suggested he pursue the training to become an EMT.

“The interesting thing is — cars and people? We pretty much do exactly the same thing here as we do in the ambulance,” Howes said. “We get a history of the patient, we understand the nature of the problem, we develop a treatment plan, and then we do interventions based on that. I thought it was just some magical thing, but it’s just a logical decision-making process.”

Howes said emergency medical service has been a very rewarding profession for him, especially the opportunity to get his team involved. “It’s understanding systems, it’s understanding how the body works. If you can understand how a car works, the human body is really not that much different.”