The DuPont City Council will consider spending part of its budget to enhance the city’s life saving capabilities within its fire department. The topic is scheduled for a hearing on Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. Currently, the city only has the ability to provide Basic Life Support, or BLS, services to citizens. This means firefighters are limited to airway maintenance, ventilatory (breathing) support, CPR, hemorrhage control, the splinting of suspected fractures, the management of spinal injury, and the protection of the patient. Only in an extremely rare, life threatening emergency situation, and then only upon authorization by a medical physician at some centralized location, could DuPont firefighters transport a patient requiring Advanced Life Support, or ALS, services to a hospital.
ALS services include all basic life support measures, plus invasive medical procedures, including intravenous therapy; the administration of antiarrhythmic medications and other specified drugs, medications, and solutions; the use of adjunctive ventilation devices, including endotracheal intubations; and other procedures that may be authorized by state law and performed under medical control. All paramedic and ambulance services would be included.
The city has traditionally relied on troops from Fort Lewis, McChord and Madigan Army Hospital to make ALS transfers when necessasry, but City Councilman Roger Westman said those services could be going away.
“Our understanding is that the military will be reducing, if not eliminating, their support to us with ALS services,” Westman said. “The Lakewood Fire District and privately managed paramedic services are located some distance away in time and miles. We do not have our own paramedic services within the DuPont Fire Department.”
Westman said he would like to have citizens stand up and either support or oppose the idea at the meeting on Nov. 22.Print This Post