Bladen (NC) EMS Complete Crisis Intervention Training

Bladen County EMS ambulances parked hood to hood.
Photo/Bladen County EMS

Alan Wooten

Bladen Journal, Elizabethtown, N.C.


Crisis Intervention Team training has been completed for five members of the Emergency Management Services team here.

Amelia Batten, an advanced EMT; Kyle Meismer, paramedic; Jamie Rivera, paramedic captain; Karlie Hill, paramedic; Laura Strickland, paramedic, were trained by Eastpointe and its community partners. David Howell, director of EMS for Bladen County, was also on hand.

The training, Howell said, “is very valuable to our EMS team in order to provide the best possible emergency medical care to our citizens.”

Related: Crisis Response Team: Mobilizing Technology to Enhance Care

From a release, Eastpointe says “CIT training helps first responders better recognize citizens dealing with a mental health challenge or an intellectual or developmental disability. It teaches them how to deescalate stressful situations and ensures they can connect those in crisis with the resources and healthcare they need. As the mental health challenges created by COVID continue to grow for area residents, so too is the need for this training.”

Twenty hours of training were provided over three days. This included role play, roundtable discussions, and working toward a goal of learning “to respond with empathy after recognizing a behavioral health issue.”

Theresa Edmondson is the chief of Regulations and Compliance for Eastpointe. She says a big part of the managed care organization’s role is “to educate our communities on behavioral health issues so they can provide a safe, supportive environment for our members. The partnerships we’ve built with first responders, especially in Bladen County, have been critical in that effort.”

Since 2008, Eastpointe and its partners have helped train 60 first responders in the county.

Alan Wooten can be reached at 910-247-9132 or Twitter: @JournalBladen.


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