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PCFD earns first responder license from state

The Pike County Fire Department was recently issued a Medical First Responder Service License by the Georgia Department of Public Health, effective July 1. This license will allow trained personnel to provide care to the citizens of Pike County while waiting for the contracted ambulance to arrive on scene or an ambulance coming from one of the surrounding counties. The concerted efforts of the Pike County Fire Department, county manager and board of commissioners, along with Department of Public Health EMS Region 4, resulted in reaching a decade long goal for the county. In the early 1980s, representatives from Upson Regional Hospital visited Pike County to teach a first responder class to interested fire department personnel. At that time, individuals were assigned basic first aid kits to respond to emergency calls to provide basic life saving skills until the contracted ambulance service provider arrived. In 2000, the state funded a first responder class to prepare personnel for National Registry certification and again issued updated jump bags. However, the state of Georgia does not license medical first responders and only licenses EMT basics and above. Around 2010, a committee was formed to expand the capabilities of licensed EMS personnel volunteering with the Pike County Fire Department. At present time, there are only two ambulances that service our community and one incident can quickly take both ambulances out of the county. A Medical First Responder License allows certain fire department apparatus to be equipped with specific basic life saving equipment as well as trauma and extrication equipment. These apparatus have been inspected by and are state certified as Medical First Response vehicles. Individuals who are certified at the level of EMT and above will continue to respond to 911 calls in a designated MFR vehicle and perform basic life saving skills following protocols approved by the Medical Director for the Pike County Fire Department. The mission of the Pike County Fire Department is to protect lives and property from the adverse effects of fire, medical emergencies and exposure to any dangerous conditions created by either nature or man.

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