TIFFIN, OH — Seneca County Emergency Services Director Ken Majors was honored for a rare accomplishment this week.
Majors received a letter from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians recognizing him for achieving 30 consecutive years of National EMS Paramedic Certification.
The letter states, “This is an honor held by few, and we are grateful for your support and dedication.” Majors said when he was 19 years old and a member of the U.S. Army, he made a commitment to himself and to his unit that he would keep up with the certification annually.
“Since about 1988, I’ve never not been certified,” he said. “That was a big goal and I’m proud of it.”
His son Josh, who works for Tiffin Fire Rescue Division, is also a Nationally Registered Paramedic. “I’m super proud of him for that,” Majors said. Majors said when he passed the NREMT course, there were about 4,000 certified paramedics, now there are about 154,000. “The national registry leads the way, they set the standard for paramedics,” he said, adding that the patch received by registered paramedics is gold because the organization sets the “gold standard.”
For new paramedics, the state of Ohio requires the national program to be completed. After that, paramedics in Ohio can meet state requirements every three years to remain certified. Majors said he wanted to hold himself to the higher federal requirements.
This means Majors has completed about 94 hours of continuing education every two years. “It’s a way to stay on top of your game,” he said. “Either you’re getting worse or you’re getting better. I don’t like to stagnate; I don’t like to sit still. I need to move forward, always, or I don’t think I’m doing anything. If you don’t learn and grow and continuously improve in medicine, you will not be successful. This is because the world moves at a very rapid pace medically.”
Not only does the course act as a refresher, but instructors are also constantly innovating and improving the continuing education classes. “They add content every two years when you recertify, so it’s not only a refresher, but it’s additional learning,” Majors said. “The new content is what’s most challenging. It keeps us fresh and keeps us thinking forward, especially out here in rural America. We aren’t on the forefront, we don’t see 100 traumas or chest pains a day, but we can learn from other people who do. The courses bring all the latest studies and evidence-based medicine into one form or one standardized package. It keeps you up to date and relevant.”
Since the national certification is not required, it is rare for EMTs to work for it every two years. “All of the nationally registered paramedics I know hold themselves to that higher standard because it’s necessary to be successful,” he said. “I think everyone should choose to be the best at what they choose to do.”
Majors said he is pleased to have received the recognition and he hopes by striving for a higher standard, he can lead by example. “I’ve always thought that being a Nationally Registered Paramedic is just one extra step to be better,” he said. “As I always have in the past, I try and lead by example. If you expect people to be good at what they do, show them the way.”
All three of the Seneca County Commissioners congratulated Majors and thanked him for his hard work and dedication to Seneca County EMS.
The board is to honor Majors with a proclamation at Thursday’s board meeting.
“It’s great to know that the people residents need in their worst moments are putting in the extra work to be as prepared as possible to serve,” Commissioner Shayne Thomas said. “On behalf of my colleagues, I’d like to congratulate Ken and thank him for his leadership and service.”