June 03, 2014 | 04:58 PMLake Geneva Police Chief Michael Rasmussen wants to bump that police protect-and-serve promise up a notch.
Rasmussen and Lake Geneva Fire Chief Brent Connelly have come to an agreement to have the fire department share an Act 10 grant to train two police officers as EMTs.
Two officers have volunteered to be in the first in their department to take the classes. They are officers Kara Richardson, the police-school liaison officer, and Brandi Nelson.
Richardson is a recipient of the department's lifesaving bar and Nelson, who was awarded the same honor three times, will begin EMT training next month.
Nelson is a member of the department's tactical team and is a training officer.
Richardson said all officers receive basic First Aid training as part of their police training, but this is a step up from that.
"The chief asked who wanted to do it, and I volunteered," Richardson said. "Because I'm at the school, it's a good thing to know."
Rasmussen came to the Lake Geneva Police Department in 1990 already certified as an Emergency Medical Technician.
Although starting with just two officers, Rasmussen said he wants to get as many officers as possible trained as level 1 EMTs.
The department has 22 fulltime officers.
"Obviously, we're the first one to any rescue call," Rasmussen said.
Rasmussen said he knows of several other police departments in the state that have officers trained as EMTs.
"It seems very beneficial," Rasmussen said.
Connelly said the Act 10 grant money, about $5,000 a year, is based on a fire department's annual calls.
A portion of that money must be spent on training, Connelly said, and with just one firefighter needing EMT training this year, there was enough money to add police officers to the list.
"He's forward thinking," Connelly said of Rasmussen.
"And we agree that it would be a good thing to have police officers trained."
Once trained as EMTs, the police officers will be affiliated and licensed with the Lake Geneva Fire Department, Connelly said.
Training will involve 180 hours, starting June 16 and will conclude in August.