MARQUETTE — The Marquette City Fire Department has taken on a new level of responsibility in the field with the upgrade of its medical license to paramedic/non-transport.
The fire department is now an advanced level life support agency, which means first responders can now provide more treatments on scene rather than waiting for an ambulance. Eight firefighters from the department went through the UPHS paramedic program and successfully obtained their paramedic licenses.
This year and a half program required 1500 hours of classroom and in-the-field training. In addition, the last five firefighters hired into the department were already paramedic certified, two of which were instructors.
“One of the things we get asked a lot is “‘Why do we call 9-1-1 for chest pain and get the fire department?’ and part of that is because we also respond to medical calls and we’re able to provide them medical treatment, so now we’re able to provide at a higher level and hopefully do a lot better for our patients and the members of the community,” said Marquette City Fire Department Firefighter and Paramedic, Thomas Latourneau.
The department added heart monitors, IV kits and intubation kits to their equipment to better handle critical situations. This new service was made possible by a $200,000 donation from a member within the community, which paid for the new equipment and additional training.