The Drumheller Fire Department is looking at signing on to the Medical First Response Program.
This program will provide training as well as some supplies to the local department, and they will be able to provide medical support when responding to calls.
“The Fire Department does not want to see any of our citizens without some kind of response to a medical call,” said Fire Chief Bruce Wade. “Our main concern is that our citizens have some kind of response when the ambulance isn’t available.”
Alberta Health Services has developed a model for Medical First Response. There is a number of agencies such as volunteer fire departments across the province that participate in the program to deliver a medical response. This model provides provincial standards for medical first response delivery, support for the agencies providing the response and ensures safe patient care with medical oversight and patient care guidelines.
Wade says currently about 25-30 per cent of the department is trained in first aid, and a couple of members are trained paramedics. He says one positive of the program is that more firefighters can be trained to deliver a medical first response. While the department often already provides first aid, this would formalize the procedure.
On joining onto the program the department decides what level of service it can provide as well as the type of calls they respond to. The minimum level of service is Basic First Aid.
A delegation on Medical First Response was at Drumheller Town Council’s meeting on Monday, June 10. They noted that joining Medical First Response is not a downloading of ambulance services.
“By joining Medical First Response offers us the opportunity for more training and supplies,” said Wade, adding there is no compensation.
At the June 10 Council meeting, Council agreed to entertain a request for decision at a future Council meeting.