Seekonk Fire Department Upgrades
The Seekonk Fire Department has upgraded both of their Engine 1 and Engine 2 Fire Companies to the paramedic level. The paramedic level is the highest pre-hospital level of care available in Massachusetts.
“Recently, the operational needs of the department were internally analyzed and the department came to the conclusion that an upgrade to the paramedic level for the fire engines would be in the best interest of the Town and its residents,” said Timothy Goodwin, the department’s EMS Director.
Seekonk residents voted for and approved the necessary funds at two town meetings. At the 2019 Fall Town meeting, residents approved $72,000 to upgrade cardiac monitors and then at the Spring 2020 Town meeting they approved $15,000 to purchase additional required equipment to be licensed at the Paramedic level.
Goodwin said the fire department has 28 members licensed at the paramedic level and 4 additional members are in the process of completing their paramedic licensure process now. When the department is at full strength, 36 of its 40 members will be licensed at the paramedic level.
“Our department ambulances (Rescue 1 and Rescue 2) have been at the paramedic level for many years and our engine companies have always been equipped to the EMT level,” Goodwin explained. “Due to increased call volume for medical emergencies, traveling outside the town to transport to area hospitals, and increasingly complex medical calls due to COVID, the department decided to move forward with this upgrade. Having the engines licensed at the paramedic level provides a greater chance of successful outcome. The engines usually do not leave the town, where as an EMS ambulance is out of service and out of the town for 50 minutes or more for the average EMS call and transport.”
“If you call 911 in Seekonk for a medical emergency and the fire engine shows up first, that engine is equipped with all of the same equipment that our paramedic level rescues carry. Each engine will now have a full cardiac monitor, all of the paramedic drugs required by the Commonwealth, and an advanced airway kit along with all of the other required equipment,” Goodwin added.