The need for fire department response to medical emergencies has increased rapidly over the past year due the number of calls for EMS reaching 8,000 per year. Fire Chief Lugo tasked the Training Division to develop a program for firefighters with no previous medical training to be effective should they be the first arriving unit. 911 Communications will dispatch equipped fire engines to medical emergencies where ambulances from surrounding communities are responding because all City ambulances are on other emergencies or they are the first medical unit to arrive.
The past two Tuesday’s, firefighters that do not have State EMS training completed an in-house first aid course. 41 firefighters completed the training. The Training Division has put together a three-part program to train-up the fire personnel. Part one was a CPR course. This first aid class was part two and next will be the Homeland Security “Stop the Bleed” course. This will enable firefighters to begin care for all life-threatening situations and some less critical emergencies. Fire trucks carry extensive medical bags and an AED (automatic external defibrillator). With this knowledge our firefighters are able to perform life-saving care before our EMS units arrive on scene and be able to work as a team with our EMS personnel to further enhance the survivability outcomes for our patients. Assistant Chief Kunkel was instrumental in developing this program with the help of EMT Tristian Couvillon and Paramedic Blake Brazzel.