Laurel Ambulance had high response rate in October

Thursday, November 7, 2019

 In October, Laurel Emergency Medical Services picked up the pace and reported answering 73 out of 75 calls for service. Unfortunately, according to Ambulance Director Riley Hutchens, that high-response rate is expected to fall again. During a recent training with Emergency Medical Services’ officials, Hutchens was informed of a change in state law affecting rural ambulance transports.

The change to Montana Code Annotated restricts the use of “fire drivers,” members of the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department who have volunteered to drive the ambulance when there aren’t enough personnel available. For the past several years, fire drivers have gotten extra training on emergency vehicle operation and stepped up to ensure the ambulance department is able to answer calls. Previously, as long as a fire driver was available, one trained Emergency Medical Technician was able to respond to calls. The new statute and administration rules governing ground ambulance services now requires that at least two of the following be on board: an ECP-EMR (trainee) “with the proviso that having only two EMP-EMR personnel on a call is not allowed; an EMT-basic or equivalent; or a physician.”

While several firefighters are currently undergoing training to become EMTs, most of the fire drivers don’t yet have that amount of training and others may not wish to volunteer for both fire and ambulance departments.


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Monday, June 8, 2020
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Monday, June 8, 2020
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Monday, June 8, 2020
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