Friday, February 10, 2012

Peoria Firefighters to be Paramedics

I heard from a good source recently that during the next four years, in order to be hired by the Peoria Fire Department, fire-fighter applicants must become Paramedics.

This is interesting.

We were told for years by our local medical powers that there was no need for the Peoria Fire Department (PFD) to provide Paramedic services. But now Engines 12 and 20 are both Paramedic 24/7. And they cover areas that Advanced Medical Transport (AMT) tells them to cover. In other words, areas where AMT Paramedics may have a slow arrival to a 911 call.

This is nice that the PFD is bailing out AMT when we were told at Peoria city council meetings that there was no need to have the PFD performing advanced life support for the people of Peoria. We were told that everything was ok.

I don't think it was ok.

Most likely AMT and the Peoria medical centers that support AMT have something financial to gain here, or the PFD would have remained at Basic Life Support with no transport rigs. (The PFD still cannot transport patients to local emergency departments...not even trauma patients whose lives depend on rapid transport.)

And now what will all the excess PFD Paramedics do when they arrive on the scene of a medical call? If they are not from Engines 12 and 20 will these PFD Paramedics be allowed to use their skills to save lives, or will they have to wait for AMT to arrive BEFORE advanced life support can be implemented for the patient in extremis?

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