Paramedics who arrive in this one-person unit following a call for emergency medical services may now begin advanced life support measures immediately, rather than waiting for a second transport unit to arrive.

Paramedics who arrive in this one-person unit following a call for emergency medical services may now begin advanced life support measures immediately, rather than waiting for a second transport unit to arrive.

Photo by Terry Oparka


New rules should shorten EMS response time in Troy

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published October 9, 2018

TROY — In the past, paramedics on one-person units responding to calls that required advanced life support were required to wait for the two-person transport unit to arrive before advanced lifesaving measures could be started, including administering IVs, insulin and other medication, or performing electro cardiac shock. 

“The paramedic (trained in advanced life support) could only do basic care until the ambulance arrived,” explained Troy Fire Department Chief Dave Roberts. 

For the past 25 years, Troy has contracted out its emergency medical services. Alliance Mobile Health has been the city’s emergency services provider for the past 15 years. 

The Oakland County Medical Authority recently approved a new staff model to allow a single paramedic to start advanced life support measures. By contract, one-person units staffed by paramedics are to arrive on the scene within five minutes, while two-person transport units are contracted to arrive within eight minutes. 

“Other counties have been doing this,” Roberts said. He noted that Troy is the first emergency services department in Oakland County to use the new staff model. 

He said that former Fire Chief Bill Nelson envisioned the new staff model and had been working with the Oakland County Medical Authority to bring it about. 

“There’s a national shortage of paramedics and emergency medical technicians,” said Vince Waryas, the executive director of Alliance Mobile Health. “We had to be more flexible. This allows a higher level of care, faster.” 

He explained that paramedics have advanced training in pharmacology and cardiac care that is not required of EMTs, who provide basic care such as using backboards to transport those with spinal cord injuries, splinting broken bones and using automated external defibrillators. 

“We’re excited to do this,” Waryas said. “It’s a great step forward.”