• Firefighters as paramedics backed

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    The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) bats for the enactment a bill that seeks to require fire stations to have fully trained paramedics as part of a bold new strategy to reinforce the bureau as first responder not only to fire alarms but on other emergencies—from violent road crashes to terrorist attacks. In a position paper, the BFP supports House Bill 5338, authored by Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr., which calls for training of the country’s next generation of firefighters as certified paramedics, or emergency medical technicians (EMTs). Chief Supt. Leonard Bañago, BFP chief, also wants its officers trained as EMTs to undergo periodic refresher courses.

    EMTs are adequately trained in advanced pre-hospital care services who can perform endotracheal intubations; administer life-saving medications orally and intravenously; run blood transfusions; and use complex emergency medical devices. Campos, deputy minority leader, added that firetrucks should have powerful lifting and cutting tools to quickly retrieve passengers jammed in car wrecks.

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