Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department announced Wednesday that the department is now fully functioning in Basic Life Support (BLS) response.
"This is something that our licensed and credentialed personnel in the department have looked forward to for a long time," said Assistant Chief Kim Lawson.
Approximately three weeks ago, MFRD began an intensive in-service training which included a skills check-off for the new medical protocols developed and approved by MFRD's new Medical Director Dr. Russ Galloway. (City Council approved Dr. Galloway to be hired as MFRD's Medical Director last month. State law requires that Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians (AEMTs) and Paramedics providing BLS level response be supervised by a physician licensed to practice in the State of Tennessee).
"By the end of the first week of training, we began placing our newly purchased equipment and medications on our apparatus throughout the city," said Lawson.
Each AEMT and Paramedic that completed the in-service is now approved to administer the new medications and utilize the additional equipment which includes:
- An advanced King airway for patients who are not breathing on their own
- Intravenous (IV) fluid and equipment for trauma patients and those needing medications
- Epinephrine injections for patients having a severe allergic reaction which has affected their airway
- Albuterol breathing treatment for COPD and asthma symptoms
- Narcan for overdoses
- Nitroglycerin for cardiac chest pain
Dextrose which is given by IV to a diabetic patient who is in Insulin Shock (hypoglycemic)
Lawson says that since certifying and equipping licensed personnel, these upgraded skills have been used approximately eight times, and all with very positive outcomes for the patients.
In the near future, MFRD will also implement a new electronic patient care reporting system that will make documentation more efficient and thorough.
"We are very thankful to our city leaders for the support they have shown through this process and for giving us the tools to not only proceed with our goals, but also succeed," said Lawson. "It is important that as the city continues to grow, our department continues to enhance our services we provide to the citizens and visitors in our community."
Fire Rescue Chief Mark Foulks is pleased with the accomplishment, "I'm very proud of our entire MFRD team for their hard work and commitment that led us to achieving this milestone. I am confident that with our new skills and the excellent partnership and quality services Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services provides, our citizens will be in great hands in any medical emergency."