North Vernon firefighters to add medic coverage

North Vernon firefighters will be taking on more of a role in medical emergencies.

The city council approved the purchase of a $10,000 bag of emergency medical equipment last night.

Mike Cole, the city’s fire chief, asked the North Vernon City Council on Monday night to release money from the city’s Cumulative Cap Fund for the purchase of equipment

Currently, North Vernon residents are served by a county-wide ambulance service. Under the new service for the city, the fire department would take on the primary role, while the county service will be a backup. The city owns no ambulances, so calls will be responded to in a fire truck, says Cole. He went on to say that by the time this new service is ready to go live, the city is expected to have one first-responder, one EMT and three paramedics.

The city council approved the request. Cole says that the money will be used to purchase an Advanced Life-Support bag, which he explains contains numerous tools and instruments to aid paramedics in providing life-saving care. The money will also be used buy a cardiac monitor.

Cole says that once the equipment is delivered, he will have a meeting with state officials on June 24 to request a waiver that would allow the city to operate with fewer than the recommended number of first-responders, EMTs and paramedics. He told the council that preliminary discussions have indicated that getting this waiver will not be an issue.

Assuming that is the case, Cole says that the new city-only service will begin operations on June 26. He adds that the work will be split among three shifts.