The license would legalize the services the department has provided.

FARMINGTON – Selectmen voted to approve applying for a first responder’s license for the town’s Fire Rescue Department. Approval is contingent on the town’s liability insurance for the service being a reasonable cost.

Fire Rescue Chief Terry Bell said he wants to legalize the service his department currently provides during an accident.

Bell said the license would cost about $100 and there would be a fee of about a $1 or $2 per call. The fees would go to Tri-County Emergency Medical Service to review the calls to make sure they were handled properly, Bell said.

Members of the department recently realized that they have provided first responder services at motor vehicle accidents over the years that have fallen into a gray area, Bell said. Members are usually the first or second on the scene and put neck collars on people, extricate them from vehicles and so forth.

But they’ve since learned that they need a first responder license. Firefighters had been looking to add to their rescue equipment when they came across the need for a license, Bell said.

The only thing firefighters are allowed to do without a license is cervical spinal immobilization with a collar and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Bell said.

Even if there is a person who is trained as an emergency medical technician or paramedic and who works for another agency, they cannot provide that service as a firefighter without that license, Bell said.

Last year, the department handled 27 emergency calls, with 18 of those for extrication and nine for lift assistance, Bell said.

Bell said firefighters don’t want people to think they’re going to start running the ambulance service.

“All we would be doing is the same things we do now,” Bell said.

The department does have 99 percent of equipment needed on the truck already, Deputy Fire Rescue Chief Tim Hardy said. Otherwise, “we have to take equipment off the truck,” he said.

Bell said neighboring towns would most likely need to apply for a first responders’ license.



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