Springfield FD Advance Life Support Starts Friday

The Springfield Fire Department is getting ready to roll out life-support units that will be able to administer drugs to victims of traffic accidents or medical emergencies.

Fire Chief Ken Fustin says that the three units will be stationed throughout the city. They will drive vehicles smaller than fire trucks and will not transport patients.

"We will have paramedics staffed on them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year," Fustin told WAND News.  ""We are a response driven organization.  The quicker we can get somebody to stop bleeding, the quicker we can get them out of cardiac arrest, the quicker we can provide them therapeutic treatment through drug intervention, that's what we're here to do."

Fustin says drugs may be useful for traumatic injuries, or in cases of heart attack, drug overdose or diabetic distress. Getting those patients higher-level care more quickly improves his or her chance for full recovery.

The upgrade will cost $50,000 for equipment and $70,000 a year to cover a 3 percent raise for 30 paramedics. The salary provision was negotiated with the firefighters' union.  The new program starts Friday.

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