BEAUFORT, S.C. (June 29, 2021) -- The City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Fire Department will now respond to medical emergencies as an Intermedial Life Support (ILS) agency. Over the last year, 30 firefighters from the City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Fire Department have successfully completed Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) training. The training was done through a grant from FEMA that awarded the department more than $200,000, as well as existing resources.
City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal firefighters are certified and licensed to provide advanced skills and provide limited pharmacological interventions to emergency patients. By improving medical care to intermediate life support, it enables the department's firefighters to better serve the public.
The Fire Department will respond to every emergency call with at least one AEMT or paramedic on each vehicle.
“It is a very exciting time to be a firefighter in our department right now," said Fire Chief Reece Bertholf. "This is a huge steppingstone in the right direction to better serve the public and we are now just one of three fire departments in the State of South Carolina to be an ILS agency.
"Our firefighters will be able to start IVs, administer breathing treatments for patients having difficulty breathing or asthma, and give epinephrine for severe allergic reactions," he added. "With medical emergencies, time and pre-hospital care is extremely important. The majority of the time, our fire engines arrive on scene before an ambulance. Now our firefighters will be able to provide necessary lifesaving skills as soon as they arrive on scene."