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First class being trained to support paramedics, reduce wait times

By Steve MacArthur Mar 12, 2024 | 3:58 PM

The inaugural group of emergency medical responders are being trained in an initiative to free up more paramedics.

A class of 14 are the first of 200 responders who will be educated for the new role over the next two years.

They would ride along with paramedics and will be able to assess, give CPR and medications on ambulance calls.

The 12-week program also covers how to:

– lift, move and secure patients safely
– administer some symptom-relief medication
– provide oxygen
– conduct a basic patient assessment
– take vital signs
– perform CPR
– address life-threatening bleeding.

The idea aims to reduce wait times for ambulances by freeing up paramedics for other emergency calls. Essentially, instead of two paramedics riding in every ambulance, some will be staffed with a medical responder.

The program also opens the door for responders to become paramedics down the road.

The first class will graduate at the end of May, with the next group to start training in June.