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P.O. Box 7800
Tavares, Florida 32778


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For immediate release - July 11, 2005

Fire Rescue adds additional service to Turnpike area

TAVARES — The Lake County Department of Public Safety Fire Rescue Division recently added advanced life-support (ALS) service at Station 82 on U.S. Highway 27, just south of the Plantation development.

Three recently hired paramedics, one for each shift, are now on staff full time at Station 82. The station serves the entire Florida Turnpike as well as a portion of U.S. Highway 27 between the community of Yalaha and the City of Minneola.

Since July 2001, the Lake County Fire Rescue Division has updated its fire stations from basic to advanced life support as needed. The five other fire stations featuring ALS service include Station 72 in Grand Island, Station 112 in Four Corners, Station 10 in Astor, Station 39 in Sorrento/Mount Plymouth and Station 15 in Pine Lakes. Fire Rescue officials update fire stations to ALS service based on call volume and severity of calls.

“The area Station 82 covers has a high number of incidents regarding cardiac-related emergencies,” said Jack Fillman, Lake County Fire Rescue Chief of emergency medical services and education. “The ALS service can really make a difference in the first few minutes of those types of emergencies.”

The primary difference between the basic and advanced life-support services is paramedics. All Lake County firefighters are trained emergency medical technicians (EMT) and are able to conduct basic life-support care such as CPR, IV preparation, basic airway maneuvers and a number of other procedures.

Paramedics are medical professionals that provide out-of-hospital care in emergencies. Education for a paramedic is typically three to four times longer than an EMT and includes more than 200 hours of training in a hospital emergency room and on an emergency apparatus such as a fire truck or ambulance. Paramedics are proficient in monitoring heart rhythms, delivering precise electrical therapy (defibrillation) to patients suffering certain abnormal rhythms, preparing and administering a number of emergency medications and providing more advanced respiratory support.

The Lake County Fire Rescue Division budgets for paramedic training for three firefighters each year. On Nov. 18 of last year, Lake County Fire Rescue added ALS service to Station 72 in the Grand Island area.

“Our goal is to have ALS response in every Lake County Fire Rescue station,” Fillman said.

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Contact information:
Christopher Patton
Communications Coordinator
Office: (352) 343-9609; Cell: (352) 455-0445
cpatton@co.lake.fl.us

 
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