Starting this spring, the city fire department will provide ALS out of five stations. City and county officials say it means a much better service. For months both sides have been in negotiations for the city-run fire department to provide the service. As of this week, both commissions have signed off on the deal. Firefighters say this is a great day.
Imagine being in a situation where someone is dying. You have the knowledge and training to save their life, but aren't allowed to do so. You're forced to wait and watch. These fire fighters have been in that exact situation.
"If we're the first on the scene and have the skills and not the equipment, then the patient suffers."
"It was really frustrating. Now with these changes, it's going to make a big difference."
But those frustrating days are just about over. Soon, the Tallahassee Fire Department will have the insurance and the equipment to save more lives with the Advanced Life Support service. They already have the training.
"We've always wanted to expand our level of service to the community. Our people are trained as paramedics. We have that group of people who were never able to provide that advanced level of service and now we'll be able to do that."
"This lets us from the moment we arrive on scene to perform skills we've had for years, and it give us an opportunity to serve the community even better and that's what we were hoping for from the beginning."
No official word just yet which of the 15 fire stations will administer the ALS, but there will be five. Training is there, but they're still waiting on the equipment and supplies. Also there's some logistical planning going on. Some fire fighters are going to be reassigned to new stations.