Medford Fire and Mercy Flights introducing new EMS response program

MEDFORD,Ore.– Mercy Flights and the Medford Fire Department are working on a tiered EMS program designed for more efficient responses.

The program frees up fire engines for higher priority calls.

Medford Fire Chief Eric Thompson said, “when the cardiac arrest, or the stroke, or the traumatic injury comes in, the motor vehicle collision, the fire happens, our engines are more available to respond to those higher priority calls.”

Medford Fire and Mercy Flights developed the program over the last year.

The tiered responses are designed to make sure advanced life support staff are available when they’re needed.

Mercy Flights Vice President of Operations Dick Whipple said, “in many cases they can treat the patient without having to call for additional advanced life support resources and in doing so then it’s matching the right resources with the right patients.”

Mercy Flights currently has one team working with the pilot program, but it wants to expand to 24-hour service.

It says it’s working on getting a 2nd team added to the program.

Whipple said, “with this program we’re able to expand our advanced life support services for the more critically ill and injured patients. It also prevents Medford Fire from having to respond to low acuity calls.”

Medford Fire said the program will add an extra layer of service to what they do.

Mercy Flights said it will save the city money and potentially save patients as well.

Chief Thompson said, “it’s better focused on the call types and it’s reducing the cost of the service delivery and potentially, it could reduce the cost to the patients.”

NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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