Squaw fire department adds paramedics
The first of September rang in not only a new month but also a new era of medical services in Squaw Valley.
The Squaw Valley Fire Department now has advanced life support services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Sierra-Sacramento Valley Emergency Medical Services Authority recently gave the fire department the go-ahead to provide all its staff with paramedic training.
“We’re very proud to be able to provide the highest level of emergency medical services to our residents and visitors and to do so with no increase in cost to our taxpayers,” Dale Cox, president of the Squaw Valley Public Service District Board of Directors in a press release. “The fire department has done a great job developing this program and receiving approval from the Regional EMS Authority in a timely manner.”
Previously, all the firefighters were emergency medical technicians and could provide basic life support. But now, with five new firefighter-paramedics on board in the last year and training continuing for the remaining EMT staff members, the department can offer the valley top care at all times.
Paramedics can administer skills above and beyond what an EMT is allowed to administer, said Fire Chief Pete Benson.
Paramedics practice advanced life support including intubation, cardiac monitoring, intravenous and drug administration, among other services.
One full-time and one part-time firefighter recently completed paramedic training, and another has six months left in school, with a total of eight paramedics on staff at the Squaw Valley Fire Department.
“The upside, as far as the community is concerned, is that the response time is quicker,” said Josh Scarboro, a firefighter-paramedic.
Scarboro has been a full-time employee with department since 2003 and recently completed his paramedic training.
Scarboro said that as the first on scene at an emergency a paramedic can administer any advanced life support services while waiting for the Truckee-based transporting agency.
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