OSCEOLA COUNTY — Area residents will have the opportunity to learn skills as medical first responders this fall from Osceola County Emergency Medical Services personnel.

At its June 16 meeting, the Osceola County Board of Commissioners unanimously supported a motion for the class, which is meant to increase the number of licensed medical first responders in the Lakola (Lake-Osceola) Medical Control Authority, according to Osceola County EMS Director Jeremy Beebe.

The classes will cost $150 per person for any student in the Lakola Medical Control Authority and $400 per person for students outside of the Authority. The fees will help cover the cost of materials and books needed for the class and EMS will cover the cost of the instructor's wages. Sessions will be taught by Osceola County EMS employees and Dr. Harold Moores will serve as the state-required physician medical director at no cost.

Beebe said he expects a class size of about 25 to 30 students, after a poll was taken with local fire chiefs regarding anticipated attendance.

Although the commissioners approved the class, it also must be approved by the state, Beebe added.

In other business, commissioners approved a motion to allow Osceola County EMS to sell three Impact Uni-vent ventilators for $1 to Baker College of Cadillac's paramedic program.

The ventilators were installed in ambulances for CPR and for patients requiring a ventilator during transport. The equipment was used until 2012 when three new, improved ventilators were put into service. The old items were taken out of service and placed into storage, now technologically obsolete in the medical world, Beebe said. They have no resale value and parts are no longer available for the model.

The paramedic program at Baker College of Cadillac is in need of ventilators and will receive extra tubing, power cords and blenders that are incompatible with the newer pieces of equipment. Beebe said the transaction will benefit the students and provide experience with ventilators.