South Lane County Fire & Rescue (SLCF&R) provides Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to residents and visitors in Creswell, Cottage Grove and rural South Lane County in an 800 square mile ambulance service area. In 2011, SLCF&R responded to approximately 2600 EMS related 911 calls. An EMT is a trained professional who responds to emergency medical situations. EMTs are classified in levels, depending upon their degree of training. In Oregon there are 3 general levels of Emergency Medical Technicians: EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate and EMT-Paramedic.
Emergency Medical Technician- Basic (EMT-B)
Becoming an EMT requires specialized training, as well as an internship in a hospital emergency room and on a transport ambulance. An EMT-B delivers a standard of care known as Basic Life Support (BLS), and performs life saving skills such as using automated external defibrillators (AED), CPR, bleeding control, splinting, oxygen therapy and administration of epinephrine for a severe allergic reaction. EMT training allows first responders to assess medical situations and stabilize patients for transport. Patients with more severe illnesses or injuries often require ALS care provided by Paramedics for further stabilization and transport.
Emergency Medical Technician- Intermediate (EMT-I)
This level of Emergency Medical Technician bridges the gap between an EMT Basic and Paramedic. In addition to performing all the functions of an EMT-B, an EMT-I has additional skills and training which include: the use of manual defibrillators and cardiac monitors, establishing intravenous access and administering certain IV medications.
Emergency Medical Technician- Paramedic (EMT-P)
All SLCF&R career personnel are certified to the level of an EMT-Paramedic. Paramedic certification in Oregon is obtained through a 2 year Associates Degree. To become a paramedic, extensive training and internships on both the ambulance and in the hospital setting are required. Paramedics are able to assess and treat a larger range of injuries and illnesses, and can deliver many lifesaving drugs to patients in the field. Paramedics perform Advanced Life Support (ALS) procedures, some of which include: endotracheal intubation, rapid sequence intubation (RSI), cricothyrotomy, needle chest decompression and administration of IV fluids and medications. Paramedics can also analyze 12 lead ECGs to help make early determination of heart attacks in the field, delivering patients to the appropriate hospital more efficiently and better treating and stabilizing the patient en route.