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Emergency Medical Responders Essentials 3rd Edition: Textbook, Resource, and Study Manual By Joseph A. Grafft MS, NREMT and Katherine Kuzma Grafft BS, RN


About the Book:

Emergency Medical Responder Essentials, 3rd Edition, presents learners with unique and vital information in a concise, easily comprehensible, and well-organized book that truly meets the needs of today’s Emergency Medical Responder (EMR). Stressing the “essentials” enables this to be a multiuse book. It functions as an EMR textbook, resource, and study manual. Students are introduced to necessary cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains throughout the chapters. This book includes additional information that learners will need for assessment, interventions, and critical thinking in the field. Unique to this book is the concise presentation of anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology to facilitate learning and a clear systematic approach to patient assessment and management.


About the Authors:

Joseph Allen Grafft, MS, NREMT

Joe Grafft’s interest and eventual career as an EMS provider and educator began with his father, Charlie Grafft, a police chief and later county sheriff.  Despite having little and living in a boxcar without running water for the first 12 years of Joe’s life, his father modeled volunteerism.  In 1959, at 12, Joe began taking first aid and rescue classes from his father and became part of a junior rescue squad.  Instilled in him was the importance of care and concern for the patient. His father’s words of wisdom still resound after all these years, “Have a reason for what you do, and treat everyone with respect and dignity!”  How true these words are today! 


 In 1965, Mr. Grafft began working for an ambulance service while attending college.  In 1968, he became a CPR instructor with the Minnesota Rescue and First Aid Association and a member of the Minnesota Para-Rescue team.  He became a nationally Registered EMT in 1974, and shortly after that, he became a vocationally licensed EMS instructor and a Regional Affiliate Faculty and National BLS Faculty for the AHA.  After receiving a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in health education and EMS management, Joe began his professional teaching career in high school while continuing to work in the ambulance service and as an athletic trainer.  Joe’s passion for the youth in EMS was demonstrated when he started a high school program 1976 called Opportunities in Emergency Care (OEC). This program trained high school students to become EMTs and was the first such program in a high school in the nation.  The high school had two ambulances staffed by paramedics and EMT’s who mentored the students.  The National Registry of EMTs awarded the OEC Program with the outstanding EMT training site in 1980.  The ambulances made 5,000 runs per year.  These same students won ten consecutive World Championships in EMS with the International Rescue and Emergency Care Association.  The OEC program still exists and has expanded to several other high schools.  Mr. Grafft became the EMS director in 1988 for a hospital paramedic system. In 1990, he became the first EMS manager for the Minnesota State Board of Vocational Education-Fire Center, later becoming the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, Fire/EMS/Safety Center, and Chancellor’s Office.  In this position as an EMS manager, he supervised and provided leadership for 53 campuses.


Grafft is past president of the National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE), the International Rescue and Emergency Care Association (IRECA), and The Minnesota Ambulance Association (MAA), past chair of the AHA-ECC committee in Minnesota, past secretary of Advocates EMS, served on the NREMT Board of Directors for 13 years.  He authored “Issues in Spinal Care” (Laerdal), “EMS in a Secured Facility”, presented at several conferences, and has written several articles for EMS journals.    Mr. Grafft has been a community faculty member from 1995 to 2015 at Metropolitan State University, School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice.  He has coordinated training and education for numerous EMS federal, state, and local agencies in CPR, basic and advanced EMS, and wilderness medicine. Mr. Grafft remains a National Registered EMT and is a certified Level One & Two NAEMSE Instructor. He continues to coordinate three high schools' EMR and EMT programs and, with Kathy, provides EMS training through their company, Customized Safety Training, LLC.


Katherine Kuzma Grafft, BS, RN, OCN

Kathy Grafft has been a healthcare professional since 1973, receiving a BS from the University of Minnesota.  As a Registered Nurse, she has had extensive experience certified as a CCRN (Critical Care RN) in a Level One Trauma Center in the medical, cardiac, and surgical ICUs. She served as a nursing faculty member at North Hennepin Community College, where she instructed nursing students in simulation, skills lab, lectures, and clinical experiences. She is a Retired OTR (Occupational Therapist Registered), with extensive experience working with adult rehab, cardiac rehab, public school special education and county infant and adult home visiting programs.

Ms. Grafft’s EMS career began in 1974 by teaching first aid for the American Red Cross. In 1977, she became an AHA CPR instructor and an NREMT.  She has been an EMT skills examiner for the Minnesota Department of Health. Kathy has spent countless hours volunteering for special events and teaching EMS to thousands of people from communities, churches, organizations, businesses, and schools.  She has been blessed by serving internationally with medical missions in Guatemala, Ecuador, and India. She and Joe had the privilege of working in the Philippines and teaching EMS in Tanzania.

Ms. Grafft’s ongoing certifications include EMR & EMT instructor, AHA BLS instructor, ACLS, PALS, and OCN (Oncology Certified Nurse).  Currently, Ms Grafft is a perioperative and infusion/oncology nurse and continues to instruct in EMS for customized safety training.


Third Edition paperback ISBN: 978-1-959681-45-8


Emergency Medical Responders Essentials, Joe and Kathy Grafft

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