EUSTIS — The Lake County Department of Public Safety, Fire Rescue Division, recently added advanced life-support (ALS) service at Station 27, located on County Road 44B near the Eustis airport.
Three recently hired paramedics, one for each shift, are now on staff full time at Station 27. Since July 2001, the Lake County Fire Rescue Division has updated its fire stations from basic to advanced life support as needed. Station 27 is the 11th Lake County Fire Rescue Station to feature ALS service. Fire Rescue officials update fire stations to ALS service based on call volume and severity of calls.
Lt. Kara Miller, a Firefighter/Paramedic with Station 27, places an ALS sticker on the station’s fire truck.
“The area Station 27 covers has a high number of incidents regarding cardiac-related emergencies,” said Jack Fillman, Assistant Chief-Administration for the Lake County Fire Rescue Division. “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.