Meeker County Sheriff Jeff Norlin is proud to announce the formation of the Community Service Officer-Paramedic (CSO-P) program in partnership with Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC). This program is an all-volunteer program that utilizes experienced, certified paramedics in the roll of a Community Service Officer. This program will augment the available Emergency Medical Services (EMS) that Meeker County citizens currently enjoy.
Sheriff Norlin says that seven Paramedics have completed their first phase of training here in Meeker County, and are now deploying with sworn Deputies for field training as part of the next phase. The Paramedics are supervised by the Sheriff’s command staff and receive medical direction from Hennepin County Medical Center’s Department of Emergency Medicine and HCMC’s Dr. Jeffrey Ho who is also a Meeker County Deputy Sheriff and serves as the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office Medical Director. Equipment for the program will be provided by both the Sheriff’s Office and HCMC while the time for the program will be volunteered by the Paramedics.
This CSO-P program was conceptualized two years ago and initially sought to utilize newly certified paramedics as volunteers that could gain experience prior to obtaining a regular paramedic job. However, it was quickly discovered that this program was highly desirable to experienced paramedics who already were working in EMS but were interested in a new experience and learning more about the profession of law enforcement. After receiving several applications, seven recruits were selected after passing a background check and an oral interview panel.
The primary purpose of the Sheriff’s Paramedic program is to enhance the number of hours and the geographic coverage of Advanced Life Support (ALS) - paramedic level
care available within Meeker County. The Paramedics will be working various shifts and will respond with advanced life support equipment to medical emergencies in a specially marked Sheriff’s Paramedic squad car. They will be responsible for providing initial advanced life support care until the arrival of the ambulance EMS personnel. When there are no medical emergencies to respond to, they will augment the sworn patrol staff with non-enforcement duties that will enhance public safety coverage throughout Meeker County.
Community Service Officer-Paramedic (CSO-P) program is in partnership with Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC). From left to right are CSO-P Kristopher Ehlert, EMT-P; CSO-P Patrick Lorentz, EMT-P; Cpt Jon Thoma; Ms. Andrea Olson, RN, BSN, MAOL (HCMC Director of Emergency Services); CSO-P Wade Johnson, EMT-P; Sheriff Jeff Norlin; CSO-P Dylan Stallings, EMT-P; Chief Deputy Brad Lindgren; Deputy Jeffrey Ho, MD; CSO-P Michael Rogers, EMT-P; CSO-P Ross Chavez, EMT-P. Not pictured: CSO-P Alvin Sangma, CCRN. Submitted photo.