Fire Dept, UMC reach agreement on life saving techniques
Lubbock firefighters will soon be able to use advanced life saving skills on the scenes of emergencies or medical calls. Up until now an agreement between University Medical Center and the City of Lubbock prohibited firefighters from doing anything more than basic life support.
On Thursday the City Council will consider an update to the agreement.
Not all firefighters are trained for ALS or advanced life saving techniques, and only those who are trained as paramedics can use ALS. As of April, 26 firefighters were trained as paramedics, and 12 had completed training as EMT-Intermediates.
As time goes on more firefighters are upgrading their skills.
All EMS staff on ambulances are trained as paramedics. But sometimes fire trucks arrive on scene first.
The Lubbock Professional Firefighters Association says some firefighters were frustrated that they had training as a paramedic but - because of the current agreement - could not administer an IV, a tracheotomy tube, or a wide range of drugs normally available to paramedics.
All firefighters have at least EMT training, which is why fire trucks are dispatched to medical calls inside the city. But the previous agreement with UMC did not recognize that some firefighters were paramedics.