Twin Falls Fire acquires 'aid car' for emergency medical calls

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - The Twin Falls Fire Department recently just got an aid car to help better assist patients in the community who need basic life support.

Fire Chief Les Kenworthy said their fire department only recently got into the emergency medical service business two years ago.

"We did that because we felt we could provide a better service working cooperatively with Magic Valley Paramedics," he explained.

So when they did start going out to those types of calls, they used their fire trucks.

"We’re using the engines a lot and putting a lot of miles on them, so one of the goals is to reduce some of the mileage on the fire trucks," he said.

Now that they just hired five new firefighters, he said they will be able to staff a two-person unit on the aid car.

"Which is where most of our business is," he continued. "About 75 percent of our business in the fire department is EMS."

Kenworthy said they work close with the Magic Valley Paramedics in going out to calls, explaining that the fire department can go out to the "basic life support" calls, and the paramedics go on more of the "advanced life support" calls.

"So advanced life support where you have administer of drugs, higher level techniques for respiratory care, innovation, those sorts of things Magic Valley (Paramedics) provides that. They have the expertise to do that," he continued. "We’re doing basic life support, BLS, which is our firefighters are all EMTs."

The aid car they have now was donated by the paramedics too.

"We relettered it and it's kind of a stop-gap in hopes that as we budget and move forward, we might be able to get our own at some point. That's the plan. Start being able to utilize an aid car instead of a fire truck for some instances," he said.

However, that doesn't mean the fire engines won't be seen on the streets.

"Other stations will still do that. This is just one additional resource we hope to add to our fleet," he said.

The aid car will also help them in instances where Magic Valley Paramedics hit "level 0," Kenworthy said. This is when the paramedics don't have any available to do transports to hospitals because they're either busy on other calls or further away.

"Having that capability of moving somebody to the hospital in the rare occasion that is needed, with a transport unit, capable unit, that would allow us in those emergency situations under the Idaho state law in the health department law, to be able to have that," he said.

While there is still some equipment they need to put in the aid car as well as get the license for a QRU, he said they hope to have the car in service in the next two or three weeks.

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