Tulsa Fire Department Adds Advanced Paramedics

The Tulsa Fire Department (OK) has expanded its medical capabilities by adding three advanced life support units to its stations, reports Tulsa World.

The teams of paramedics are qualified to perform life-saving procedures that other basic life support companies can't. With the three additional stations equipped with the advanced paramedics, more than half of the fire stations in Tulsa now have advanced life support companies.

"The citizens of this community can rest assured they have one of the best EMS systems in the nation," said Michael Baker, director of emergency medical services for the Tulsa Fire Department.

The advanced units have the necessary equipment and training to perform several lifesaving actions related to cardiac episodes, respiratory problems, strokes and traumatic injuries, whereas other firefighter EMTs might not be able to be as in-depth.

Speed and technical expertise are the goal of the program, Baker said. A patient will have a better chance for survival if the first responder has the knowledge to correctly assess major problems and "if we can identify those quickly, which is what a paramedic brings with a certain level of expertise to the scene," Baker said.

The stations were chosen by analyzing the types of medical calls in each of the stations and placing the advanced units where there are more medical calls of a certain type.

"When we looked at all those demographics and all of those response types in all of the apparatus within the city of Tulsa that were at basic EMT level, the three that we chose came out at the highest rankings of having the most of those types of calls," Baker said.

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