Plan is Potential Life-saver; Cleveland tries out Fire - @ JEMS.com


Plan is Potential Life-saver; Cleveland tries out Fire


 
 

Mark Puente | | Monday, May 19, 2008


CLEVELAND -- Hundreds of lives could be saved in Cleveland each year if the Fire Department expands a trial program to save critically ill patients, city officials say.

Six weeks ago, the Fire Department assigned an advanced paramedic/firefighter to Engine 36 in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood at East 131st Street and Bartlett Avenue. The area has a high volume of serious medical calls.

Engine 36 now has the capability to administer advanced life support to sick or injured patients, including starting intravenous fluids, opening airways and dispensing life-saving drugs.

The pumper truck's response time is usually less than four minutes - a vital time for heart-attack patients, officials say. The truck will not transport patients to the hospital; instead, the paramedic will administer care and the patient will be taken to the hospital by the Emergency Medical Service.

All firetrucks answer medical-emergency calls and each firefighter can administer basic first-aid, including CPR, but have to wait for EMS for life-saving measures.

The goal of the six-month trial program is to save lives. City officials are pleased so far with the results.

"The initial feedback is encouraging," Safety Director Martin Flask said. "It's an opportunity for us to expand first-responder care."

The Columbus Fire Department has paramedics assigned to each of its 34 pumpers. Half of Cincinnati's 27 pumpers have paramedics. A paramedic certification requires more than 2,000 hours of medical training, while a firefighter requires about 120 hours.

Cleveland Councilman Kevin Conwell, who chairs City Council's Public Safety Committee, supports expanding the program citywide to combat fatal heart attacks. The city had 200 last year.

"The whole focus needs to be on saving lives," he said.

Engine 36 responded to 157 medical runs in the first four weeks and beat EMS to the scene 84 times. The unit assisted or started advanced care on 66 of those patients.

Lt. Ken Latkovic, a paramedic/firefighter who volunteered for the program, said the unit saved two lives, including a 103-year-old woman who needed resuscitation.

EMSoperates between 16 and 22 ambulances each day and has a response time of about seven minutes and 20 seconds.

The Fire Department operates four rescue squads.

Historically, there has been a rivalry between the department and EMS, with occasional talk of merging the two services.

Some EMS employees may feel threatened by the program, Flask said, but it's not an attempt to undermine their work.

In fact, EMS Commissioner Ed Eckart recommended the city implement the program, along with Fire Chief Paul Stubbs. Stubbs and Eckart each said they would like to see the program expanded after six months.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Operations and Protcols

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Philadelphia Fire Department Apologizes for Medic’s Jab at Police

Union head calls photos a slap in the face of officers.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Crews Blame New Technology for Patient’s Death

Delayed response blamed on recurring dispatch problems.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Suspect Steals, Crashes Maryland Ambulance

One killed, others injured in Prince George’s County crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Truck Strikes Pedestrians in Scotland

Six killed in downtown Glasgow.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee Trench Rescue

Worker pulled from Roane County worksite.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Time’s Ebola Firefighters

Doctors, nurses and others saluted for fighting virus.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >