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MA Office of Emergency Medical Services

The Fire Services Division has been providing pre-hospital emergency medical services to the citizens of Arlington since 1976. All firefighters are first respondersand all newly hired firefighters are required to become emergency medical technicians (EMT's) as a condition of employment. Currently there are sixty firefighter/EMT's. The department's EMS Coordinator is responsible for all re-certification training requirements of the EMT's and first responders.

Medical incidents are identified as either basic life support (BLS) - non-life threatening or advanced life support (ALS) defined as life threatening. Based upon information received from a 911 call for medical aid the central telecommunication dispatcher will determine whether the incident requires a BLS or ALS response. Examples of a BLS incident include sprains, minor lacerations, slight fractures and common illnesses. Chest pain/heart attack, cardiac arrest, strokes/brain attacks, respiratory illnesses or distress, seizures, severe allergic reactions, blunt or penetrating traumatic injuries, severe uncontrolled bleeding and childbirth are all examples of an advanced life-support incident.

Armstrong Ambulance Service provides the paramedics for all ALS responses. The paramedics and non-transport vehicles are based in Arlington.

All the department's emergency medical technicians are trained to assist patients in administering theirown nitroglycerin and prescribed inhalers for asthmatics. The fire department also participates in automatic external defibrillators (AED) training. These devices shock a patient's heart into a normal rhythm during cardiac arrest. All department emergency vehicles are equipped with AED's.

Our goal is the right response, on time, every time.