The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

EMT Balandran honored for 20 years of service


November 8, 2017

Brandon L. Summers

Tony Balandran of Sidney was honored by Regional West Health Services for his 20 years of service as an emergency medical technician.

Balandran described the recognition as "wonderful" and "rewarding."

"The reason being is because typically the lifespan right now in EMT is about five years," he said. "I love helping people. I think I am doing my calling."

An EMT's duties and responsibilities are many.

"A normal day involves checking in vehicles, making sure all the equipment's there and functioning. It also involves cleaning the office, washing the ambulance rigs," he said. "We also do PR events and stuff like that, so if anybody questions us at a stand-by or something like that, we typically will help them out."

At any moment, Balandran could have to response to a 911 call.

"If somebody needs to be transported, whether it be from this hospital or Regional West, from Kimball to anywhere in the state of Nebraska, we can transport them from that location to any other regional speciality center," he said.

Being an EMT requires re-certification every two years.

Balandran recently completed 16-hour classes on both advanced cardiac life support and PALS, pediatric advanced life support.

"We have continuous in-house training on procedures and new equipment," he said. "We train every month and we have to go through competencies. Right now, in the process for my re-certification, I have to have a 54-hour refresher class, which involves what we had initially, four years of training to become advanced providers."

He added, "With that training, it makes us more professional and keeps us up-to-date."

The profession has changed during his 20 years of service, Balandran said, both in terms of practices and technology.

"It's gone from with changes in how you do CPR or advancement of equipment. We have machines now that do chest compressions for us, even machines that breathe for people," he said. "Things are getting a little more automated. They're trying to make it a little easier on our bodies, because sometimes the things we do take a toll on the body."

Balandran was inspired to become an EMT by a family history of helping others.

"Our family has always been that way," he said. "My dad's that way, and my brothers and sisters. I enjoy helping people and taking care of our country."

Balandran served in the U.S. Army as a member of Bravo Company 324 Signal Command. From there, he joined the Sidney Fire Department and served for 15 years. During that time, he also began serving as an EMT.

Balandran enjoys being able to serve others, and his service has been appreciated.

"I can tell from certain people they've enjoyed the way I do patient care for them," he said. "I truly try to bond with them and make them feel comfortable, because sometimes we pick them up at their worst times, so you want to make them feel as comfortable as you can and do what's best for them."

The support of family and friends, and his employer, has given Balandran strength in his career, and being able to pace himself.

"If I feel that I need a vacation our company is very supportive when it comes to taking time off. They'll work around my schedule if I have to attend family functions or functions for the kids," he said. "We all work together in order to manage a decent lifestyle, because sometimes this lifestyle can tie you down."

Balandran describes being an EMT as a worthwhile profession.

"Just knowing you can save a life somewhere in itself is very rewarding," he said. "I would encourage anyone who can become an EMT to become one."


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