With basic life support equipment (BLS) and emergency medical technicians (EMTs), Fire Division Chief for Professional Standards Ryan Lamb said Station 5 could assist during a cardiac arrest only to a point.
“With BLS equipment, we could give them CPR, breath, maybe an (automatic electric defibrillator) shock, but we were limited in what we could do,” Lamb said.
But now, the Cape Coral Fire Department unveiled its latest set of advanced life support (ALS) equipment for Station 5. That station is now the sixth — out of 11 stations in the city — so equipped.
The upgrade in capabilities is significant.
“Now we can administer specific medicines, IVs, resuscitation and even monitor their EKGs and transmit that information to the hospital,” Lamb said. “We’re able to better stabilize them on site.”
The equipment is paired with an upgrade to the personnel. Instead of EMTs, the ALS equipment will be used by paramedics.
“It takes about two years of extra training to go from an EMT to a paramedic,” said Fire Battalion Chief of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Mike Russell.
Fire Chief Donald K. Cochran tied the Station 5 upgrade directly to the fire service assessment created by Council.
“Everything we do, we’re trying to upgrade our services to save lives,” Cochran said. “And this (equipment) lets us do that. The service assessment makes sure that we can do this. That’s the 50,000-foot view.”
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