The Next Level Of Emergency Response

Last year the O’Fallon Fire Protection District (OFPD) community approved Proposition Safety. This provided funding for the District to enhance emergency medical services by hiring additional firefighter/paramedics and implementing an Advanced Life Support program.

Coming Soon: Advanced Emergency Medical Services

Over the past year a team of firefighter/paramedics has worked on developing and launching this new level of emergency medical service, which includes enhanced training, updated equipment and new medical protocols.

“Safely implementing this program is a big undertaking, and we want to make sure every detail is covered before we begin offering Advanced Life Support services to our community,” OFPD Chief Tom Vineyard says.

Establishing medical protocols and updating training have been at the forefront of the planning. OFPD is working with the St. Charles County Ambulance District (SCCAD) to provide consistent patient care to residents of the District.

“We are using the same medical protocols as SCCAD, and have worked with them to update training for our existing paramedics,” Vineyard says.

Currently all OFPD firefighters are emergency medical technicians (EMTs), five currently have their paramedic license and all District new hires will be certified paramedics.

The District has tested and purchased new emergency medical equipment including heart monitors and software that will enable firefighter/paramedics to determine the presence of an acute heart attack, and send information directly to the hospital, life-saving medications and tools to assist with securing an airway.

Hiring for the additional firefighter/paramedics began in October.

“There was an overwhelming response from high qualified candidates for our new positions. We look forward to welcoming six new crew members early next year,” Vineyard says.

When the plan is fully implemented each crew will have a minimum of four firefighters per shift, which is recommended by national safety standards.

Under Construction: Engine Houses Updated

The District also continues to update equipment and facilities to meet the emergency needs of the community, including the ability to house up to five firefighter/paramedics per shift.

“Our community has grown by more than 40 percent since many of our station were built. In this time our community, and the role of the fire service has changed, causing a need for updates to our stations,” Vineyard says.

Station #5 at 7140 South Outer Rd. 364, which was built more than 20 years ago is currently undergoing a complete renovation, which will include the addition of one bunkroom.

The station will remain open during the construction, with the crew working from a temporary structure behind the main house. Station #1 at 200 North Main St. is undergoing minor modifications to add a bunk room and Station #4 at 1306 Sunview scheduled for a full replacement in the next two years.