AFD Engine 1 Central Station: Ready to Roll!
As if Amherst Fire Department -- the busiest in the state -- wasn't efficient enough already, a new state certification for Engine 1 allowing it to act similar to an ambulance will only make them more so.
And considering the way this semester has started, were going to need it!
EMS gear now on board Engine 1
Now in addition to five ambulances the front line fire engine will also be equipped to respond to medical emergencies in the event all our ambulances are tied up, such as the first September weekend dealing with ETOH (passed out drunk) students.
$30,000 Lifepack monitors heart and ventilation can also administer shock
Previously, with any serious call -- like a major car accident or structure fire -- an ambulance and Engine 1 would have responded anyway.
But now the engine has two shelves loaded with Emergency Life Support medical supplies, which would be immediately available to compliment the ambulance for multiple causalities, including the possibility of a fire fighter being injured during the call.
Now that the fire engine is certified by the state as an Emergency First Response vehicle it must stay within the confines of Amherst, so it will not transport patients to Cooley Dickinson or Baystate Hospitals.
Over the next two months UMass will be financing the staffing of two extra ambulances, so the AFD weekend staffing will be at peak, 13. Unfortunately minimum staffing the rest of the time remains at only seven, where it has been since the late 1970s.
And it's not like they are any less busy during the week:
Cick graph to enlarge/read. Graph by Tom Valle, Secretary Local 1764
State requires annual Emergency First Response inspection sticker ($200 cost each) per ambulance, although for Engine 1 the equipment is certified so it can be moved to another rig in an emergency