AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Amarillo Fire Department (AFD) officially launched its first paramedic engine today.
The AFD and Amarillo Medical Services partnered to provide paramedic-level life support equipment and tools on an Amarillo firetruck.
First responders said it will provide the highest level of care possible during emergencies.
“We’ve been on calls in the past where some of us that have been paramedics for a while have felt that it would’ve been nice had we had the appropriate tools in our toolbox per say,” said Brigan Peterson with the Amarillo Fire Department. "Maybe we were needing to provide a little bit of advanced level of care, and an ambulance wasn’t on scene quite yet, and we were just limited by the amount of equipment that we had. Now this kind of mitigates that problem.”
Chief Will Hendon with Amarillo Medical Services echoed that statement, saying the engine will essentially provide an emergency room at the scene.
“Putting this truck out on the street in cooperation with one another is to bring the same level of care across the board, regardless of what agency is actually making scene first,” said Hendon.
The City of Amarillo’s fire chief, Jeff Greenlee, said it will bring the best possible care to the people they serve.
“Every second counts on a medical emergency, and these folks can get out there and start delivering this level of care quicker,” said Greenlee. “It’s just a better outcome for the citizens.”
This is a pilot program at Station 6.
If it goes well, Greenlee said it could be launched at other stations in Amarillo.
Last year, Amarillo Fire responded to about 23,000 calls, with roughly 70 percent of them being medical emergencies.