Federal public safety officials have unveiled an advanced ambulance service for the Pearl Harbor naval complex area that they hope will save lives and provide quicker response in emergencies.
The Federal Fire Department of Hawaii on Thursday launched its "Advanced Life Support" paramedic ambulance service for military facilities and approximately 8,000 military homes stretching from Pearl City to Lagoon Drive, said Federal Fire Chief Michael P. Jones.
The upgraded emergency service program was transferred from the Pearl Harbor Naval Medical Clinic to the Federal Fire Department, Jones said.
The Federal Fire Department is responsible for emergencies at all military installations except Hickam Air Force Base, Jones said. He added that the upgraded ambulance service will primarily be used for emergencies in the Pearl Harbor area.
Prior to the upgraded ambulance service, emergency workers from the Pearl Harbor Naval Medical Clinic provided "basic life support" and received assistance from city ambulances, said Dennis Yurong, Emergency Medical Services chief for the Federal Fire Department of Hawaii.
It would take at least 10 minutes for a city ambulance to get into the Pearl Harbor area from Pali Momi Medical Center or St. Francis Medical Center, said federal paramedic Roger Pinell. With the upgraded ambulance service, time will be saved especially in cardiac arrest cases, Pinell said.
The upgraded ambulance service will be staffed by six nationally and state-certified paramedics with firefighter training, Yurong said.
"Were looking to make a major impact," Yurong said. "The level of care is going to be equivalent to the city and county and the state."
The Federal Fire Department of Hawaii responds to an average of more than 3,500 emergency calls per year and is the second-largest Federal Fire Department in the world with 240 personnel, 13 fire stations, 34 firefighting-rescue apparatuses and 21 support vehicles with fire, rescue and prevention equipment, federal fire inspector Victor Flint said.
The Federal Fire Department responds to all types of emergencies including aircraft ammunition-ordinance, shipboard, brush, vehicle, structure and submarine fires.
In addition, the department responds to radioactive contamination and nuclear accidents.
The Federal Fire Department of Hawaii was started in 1979 when the Navy and Army combined their fire stations.