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Normal Fire Department Rolls Out State-of-the-Art Medical Equipment on Fire Engines

Written by on April 5, 2024

Photo provided by the Normal Fire Department

NORMAL, Ill. – Though disasters such as fires or accidents can arise at any time, the Town of Normal can rest a little more assured with the Normal Fire Departments recent announcement of their newest life-saving upgrade to the town’s fire engines.

The fire department announced earlier this week that all front-line fire engines are now capable of providing paramedic-level care anywhere. The upgrade of the engines come from a multi-year goal to outfit the fire trucks with these state-of-the-art medical gear to better equip first responders.

“It gives us that opportunity to get to the scene a lot faster and start patient care,” said Fire Inspector at the Normal Fire Department Matt Swaney and spokesperson on the recent upgrade for the station.

As firefighters and EMT’s live up to their name of being first responders, they are nearly always on the scene of an incident before any other group arrives. Situations may arise where a Normal ambulance is across town and the firefighters are able to make it to the scene before them. Swaney said the paramedic-level engines will allow them to treat patients in the same manner an ambulance would be able to before transport to a hospital.

“That’s especially important when it’s something critical like a cardiac event or a stroke where literally seconds can make a huge difference,” Swaney said.

The new paramedic-level engines carry all the necessary medical equipment needed to respond at an incident, including a cardiac monitor, defibrillator, airway and intubation equipment and even many types of medications.

“Just a wide variety of medical situations because we never know what we’re going to get into,” Swaney said.

Though the added plethora of intricate equipment would have to be maintained regularly such as with medications or fully charged defibrillator batteries, Swaney said that isn’t something foreign to the firefighting staff, since they regularly maintain the ambulances which carry near identical gear.

“Its something they’re already used to doing with the ambulance equipment,” Swaney said.

While accidents and disasters can never be fully avoided, the members of the fire department and other first responders like EMT’s often hold a “prepare for the worst, hope for the best” mentality, and this recent upgrade will allow patients at scenes of disasters to know the Normal Fire Department is fully prepared for whatever the world throws at them.

“We’re very pleased to be able to offer that on our engines,” Swaney said.