The faster you receive medical care the better your chances are of making the best recovery possible.
We are just emerging from national Emergency Medical Services Week, an annual awareness campaign organized by the American College of Emergency Physicians to bring focus to emergency response. The campaign includes helping families prepare for disasters, instructions on how to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, what parents can do to keep teens safe behind the wheel, and what to do in case of a fire in the home.
Auburn Fire Department is among many emergency departments in Maine that push this awareness campaign each year. This year, the department takes the opportunity to answer some basic and frequently asked questions about the emergency medical services it provides.
What happens when I call 911 for a medical emergency in Auburn?
The minute you call 911 the emergency medical system begins. All 911 dispatchers are trained in emergency medical dispatching and will rapidly determine what resources are needed for your emergency and get help to you as quickly as possible. Emergency medical dispatchers also have the ability to give you first aid instructions so you can begin to help victims.
The nearest firetruck is dispatched for all medical emergencies in Auburn. All of these trucks are staffed with emergency medical technicians, with the majority of the crews having the ability to perform advanced life support. All Auburn fire trucks are equipped with the supplies needed to perform advanced emergency medical procedures. Auburn firefighters bring the emergency room to your home.
Why do firetrucks in Auburn respond to medical emergencies?
Because there are fire stations positioned around the city staffed with trained emergency medical technicians, Auburn rirefighters are able to rapidly provide you with emergency medical care, increasing your chances of surviving a life-threatening emergency.
What are emergency medical technicians?
Fifty of the 60 Auburn firefighters are licensed emergency medical technicians and 14 of those firefighters are licensed at the highest level of emergency medical technician/paramedic. Maine licenses three levels of emergency medical technicians that provide varying skills in emergency situations. The basic EMT is trained to do scene surveys, patient assessments, vital signs, patient history and physical exams. EMT-B skills include airway management, oxygen administration, spinal immobilization, bleeding control, CPR with use of automated external defibrillators and splinting. The intermediate EMT has expanded knowledge and can provide more skills. EMT-I skills add IV therapy, airway tube placement, cardiac rhythm interpretation and some drug therapy. Paramedic training is the highest level of EMT, and allows; advanced airway skills including endotracheal intubation, emergency creation of an airway, cardiac monitoring, intravenous therapy, advanced cardiac life support and the administration of many different medications through a medical doctor’s license.
How important is the Auburn emergency medical system?
When answering this question it is important to remember two things. First the Auburn Fire Department does not duplicate service provided by other agencies. Our primary focus is to deliver first responder care. By delivering this service we are augmenting the response component of an already stressed emergency medical system. Secondly, by rapidly deploying fire forces to the scene of a medical emergency we can significantly decrease the effects caused by a sudden medical or traumatic event. To put it simply, the faster you receive medical care the better your chances are of making the best recovery possible.
Auburn firefighters have a mission to deliver the most cost-effective, highest quality and consumer friendly product that we can to you – our customers. We have made careers based on helping you during what is most likely one of the worst times of your life.
Auburn Fire Department is not alone in its mission to provide quality medical services. We share this mission with all the dedicated emergency responders across the state.
Lt. Michael Lecompte is an emergency medical technician-intermediate with the Auburn Fire Department.