West Florence fire crews work for DHEC certifications

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Firefighters at the West Florence Fire Department are working to become certified First Responders by the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

This means Firefighters will be able to administer life-saving medication and services when EMS are not on the scene of an Emergency.

"There are several circumstances where West Florence will get to a response call before EMS and given that we want to be able to provide the highest level of service possible," Captain Anthony Fox, West Florence Fire Department.

According to Captain Fox, the West Florence Fire Department responds to 1,300 calls a year. Half of those calls are for emergencies needing medical services. Car crashes, cardiac and respiratory emergencies are just some of the calls, which need medical attention.

"We will be able to provide cardiac drug; dextrose for diabetic patients," said Fox.

Right now the department is working to be able to offer a higher level of service, said Fox. Medication, a local physician, and equipment are some of the resources needed to make this happen.

"By becoming a DHEC First Responder Agency, we qualify for grants through FEMA and other private vendors," said Fox.

Captain Fox said the department should be certified and have all resources in place within the next three to six months.

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