Radnor FC ambulance adds on-site ALS service

Radnor Fire Company’s ambulance has taken its level of medical care up a notch.

As of MOnday it activated its own paramedic staff, a change that speeds up its ability to respond to life-threatening emergencies (such as a cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest or stroke) in the township.

With this upgrade, Radnor FC becomes Delaware County’s first fire company to have its own advanced life-support (ALS) unit.

During the past 10 years, when a serious emergency arose in Radnor Township, Radnor FC Ambulance depended on a satellite station of the Volunteer Medical Service Corps of Lower Merion, Narberth and Conshohocken, stationed at Bryn Mawr Hospital, to dispatch a paramedic to help. Typically it took 3 to 5 minutes for the medic to meet up with the Radnor squad.

Since 1947, Radnor FC Ambulance, housed in the fire company’s quarters on South Wayne Avenue, has been providing basic life-support (BLS) service to the community.

“Now,” said Radnor Ambulance ALS coordinator John Buffington III, “we have on-premises capability to provide the best and speediest advanced-care service to residents and businesses in Radnor Township. Time is of the essence when confronted with a life-threatening emergency. Those few minutes that we now save can make a huge difference. Now, when we’re dispatched, we are out the garage door and on the scene in minutes.”

AS the new ALS service starts this week, two fully staffed ambulance crews – each with a paramedic and emergency medical technician – will be on duty from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. A third medic, manning a Ford Expedition medic responder, will also be available. During nighttime hours, there will be one ambulance crew and one medic responder.

“My position as ALS coordinator is unique,” stated Buffington. “Most ALS coordinators come into an existing ALS squad. I’m coming in and creating the ALS service from scratch.” That means there were numerous important steps that Buffington had to take before the ALS service was ready. “I had to secure a medical director from a hospital; hire the paramedic staff, buy ALS equipment, schedule staff and ensure that the medics are up to speed on their training.”

 

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