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New vehicles improve emergency response

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The North Fork Ambulance has acquired three quick response vehicles, which are now in service. The vehicles and the special equipment they carry have helped improve the organization's ability to respond to emergency situations and provide advanced life su

North Fork residents may have noticed a new kind of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) vehicle traveling our local roads. These "Quick Response Vehicles" (QRVs), purchased through state and federal grants, local fundraising and generous donations, are specifically designed to bring North Fork Ambulance Advance Level EMTs directly to the scene of an emergency to begin a higher level of care much sooner than it has ever before been available in the North Fork Valley.

Our advanced level EMTs provide extensive pre-hospital care including advanced airway management, cardiac medications, and pain management, as well as heart monitoring with 12-lead EKG, in the field. Working in direct contact with Delta County Memorial Hospital Emergency Room physicians, these crew members are able to support patients with significant problems such as heart attacks and serious traumatic injuries and can administer potentially life-saving medications long before reaching the hospital.

Grants and donations for the vehicles totaled $106,173 and resulted in $8,822 total out of pocket expenses for all three vehicles and associated emergency equipment. Since putting the vehicles into service three months ago, NFA has seen a savings of nearly $6,564, and estimate an annual cost saves of more than $20,000. That money can provide a good percentage of the organization's Advance Life Support level of care.

In 2015, valley residents identified the need and desire for a higher level of emergency medical care right here at home. This advanced care had previously been obtained by our ambulances meeting Delta County Ambulance District ambulances by the side of the road somewhere between Hotchkiss and Delta Hospital to begin advance life care needs. Through training, and the acquisition of the QRVs, the North Fork Ambulance now has a limited number of Advanced Life Support crew members who can quickly and efficiently get to the scene of an emergency. Additionally, these four-wheel-drive vehicles can get to patients who may be snowed in or otherwise unreachable by our ambulances, faster and more safely than ever before.

By using these cost-effective QRVs, NFA is able to put the limited number of its most highly trained crew members exactly where they need to be in the shortest time possible. When you see these vehicles responding, know that help is on the way to someone in need.

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