HARDEEVILLE, S.C. (WSAV) – Firefighters are stepping up training to make the City of Hardeeville that much safer.
All firefighters with the Hardeeville Fire Department are now certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). The department says employees can now perform CPR, administer AEDs and insert breathing tubes.
Firefighters sometimes arrive on the scene of an emergency before EMTs do, and the department says these new certifications will allow first responders to start helping patients right away.
“Currently, there are only four ambulances housed in the county for 911 transport, so there may be 10 to 15 minutes before an ambulance arrives,” explained Hardeeville Fire Assistant Chief Joey Rowell. “So having those folks trained and on those calls rapidly makes the difference between life and death.”
The department says about 70% of calls they take are medical emergencies.
The city hopes to add an ambulance and fully certified emergency medical service officers to the force in the future.