Emergency medical services available in Westover

Published 6:50 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Westover Fire Department has qualified to provide Advanced Life Support services, including carrying cardiac and diabetic medications, IV fluids and a cardiac monitor.

On Tuesday, the fire department took full advantage of those new services, said Fire Chief Tim Honeycutt. The department responded to a cardiac emergency by providing IV therapy, monitoring the patient’s heart and giving the patient some medication.

“It just gave him advanced care that he would not have been able to get from us a month ago,” Honeycutt said.

The new emergency services are a step up for Westover, ensuring that the department can provide care comparable with any other department.

“It puts us on the same level with a lot of these bigger departments in the county, in terms of quality of service for the citizens,” Honeycutt said.

The ALS services will be available 24 hours a day, as the fire department has a paramedic on duty at all times.

Honeycutt said getting the advanced medical care was an immediate goal of his as soon as he was named fire chief. The department was able to get the necessary certification from the Alabama Department of Public Health soon after Honeycutt came on board, and has been providing ALS services for almost two weeks now.

“(This is) a very big step in the life of our department,” he said.

The city will pay for the medications as they are needed.

Honeycutt said that while Westover doesn’t have a lot of room in its budget, the town council understood how necessary the ALS service was.

“The mayor and the council all know this is something we definitely needed to provide,” he said. “This is just the highest level of emergency medical care that can be delivered.”