When ambulances can't respond, Daviess Co. firefighters answer t - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

When ambulances can't respond, Daviess Co. firefighters answer the call

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In an emergency, often ambulances are either already in service or too far away for an immediate response. That's when local fire departments can rush to the scene, saving time and lives.

Being able to provide critical care as soon as they arrive at an emergency is a big part of the job for Daviess County firefighters. 

"It seems we run more medical calls now than we do fires," said Lt. Charlie Rafferty, with Daviess County Fire Department. 

With that being the case, Rafferty knows that many of those calls are serious, and sometimes, ambulances are working other emergencies.

"The ambulances are busy in the city sometimes. They get tied up. Sometimes they're having trouble clearing the emergency room to get an ambulance out to us," Rafferty said.  

According to officials, the Daviess County Fire Department is the only non-transport advanced life support service in the fire service throughout Kentucky.

"We can go ahead and start that pre-hospital care, and they can get the same level of care as they would in the back of an ambulance," Rafferty said.

Every fire truck that the department operates has all of the equipment that an ambulance does, except for a stretcher.  

Assistant Fire Chief Shaun Blandford explains why officials sought this designation.

"We saw a need to better the outcome of our patients by increasing our training and becoming advanced life support provider here in Daviess County," Blandford said.  

Blandford says all of that paperwork and details are worth it.

"There's a lot that goes into it, and we work very hard every day to keep this license up," Blandford said.

"It's not about us. It's about just doing the best thing we can for the people out there in the community and trying to help save lives as the best we can," Rafferty said.

The fire department says that it renews its license to perform these services every year. 

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