Peoria Area Emergency Medical Services (PAEMS), in collaboration with the City of Peoria Fire Department (PFD) and the Firefighters Union (IAFF Local #50), has launched an Advanced Life Support First Response pilot program within the city of Peoria.
The pilot, which began January 1, enables two Peoria Fire Department engines (Rescue 1 and Engine 3) to provide Advanced Life Support (ALS) care under the ALS First Response model when necessary. These engine companies will be staffed with at least one Active System Certified paramedic at all times.
The City of Peoria has thorough ALS coverage through Advanced Medical Transport. Currently, the Peoria Fire Department has three ALS certified engine companies, with more than 50 certified paramedics serving on predominantly Basic Life Support engine companies.
Advanced Life Support is provided when a patient is in more critical condition and a paramedic is required to assist in treatment before or during transport to a hospital.
In situations where the Peoria Fire Department may be the initial - or only - unit dispatched, or in situations involving multiple patients, the concern has been raised that there could be a critical patient in urgent need of ALS intervention. The ALS First Response model allows the Fire Department the capability to intervene in these critical situations until an ALS transporting unit arrives on scene.
“It is the goal of Peoria Area Emergency Medical Services to provide care for everyone throughout Peoria. With a focus on the patients who seek our care, it is our hope that this collaborative program will help us meet their needs as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Matthew Jackson, PAEMS Medical Director.
The PAEMS-PFD program is being trialed for one year, with regular oversight and monthly quality assurance meetings, to gauge its need and effectiveness. If it is deemed useful by PAEMS, the PFD, and city leadership, the ALS First Response model could be expanded to additional engine companies.