Fears of reduced emergency medical services (EMS) at Falls Road Station 30 are greatly exaggerated, according to officials.
Changes are coming to the Cabin John Park fire stations, Number 30 on Falls Road at Oaklyn Drive and Number 10 on River Road, July 1, but citizens need not fear reduction in Emergency Services, stated Deputy Chief Corinne Piccardi.
“Station 30 is not losing its EMS service,” Piccardi wrote in an email. “The EMS unit is currently an Advanced Life Support (ALS) unit and is staffed with an EMT driver and a paramedic. Towards the end of June, the unit at 30 will be converting to a Basic Life Support unit, which means it will have two EMT’s as staffing. There is an Advanced Life Support Provider (paramedic) on the engine at all times to upgrade that ambulance if the nature of the call warrants it. This engine ALS position has been in place at Station 30 for several years.”
Piccardi said in her email that this change in EMS delivery model is one that Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service is moving towards throughout the county.
“Potomac and its surrounding areas will actually see an increase in Advanced Life Support Services, as not only is the paramedic remaining at Station 30, but there is one being added at Station 10 on River Road,” she wrote.
Daniel Ogren, Battalion Chief, Special Operations, Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service, said in an email that studies indicate the change will serve the community better than it is currently being served.
“There are a lot of studies we have done, with regard to call types and [response] times that indicate that this change will allow us to respond in a more timely manner, with the appropriate resources and better serve the residents of this part of the county,” Ogren wrote.
The July changes will not negatively affect the Swift Water Rescue Team at the station.
“Both Cabin John Park VFD stations are home to the Swift Water Rescue Team and there will be no impact on the delivery of this service other than to have an extra ALS provider available for calls,” Piccardi wrote. “All personnel assigned to Station 10 or 30 are required to be Swift water trained and certified.”