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Fire Department in California Considers Single-Paramedic Response System

LONG BEACH, Calif. — As the Long Beach Fire Department struggles to find fat to trim after years of reductions, officials are considering putting a single paramedic on each responding vehicle instead of running two-paramedic teams.

Fire command staff and city officials are presenting the switch as a way to shorten response times by requiring fewer paramedics in the system, cutting more than $1 million in spending as required in the proposed fiscal year 2013 budget.

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