Star Staff Reports
The dedication of the first ever, ambulances for the SCFD ( twelve in all ) was held at the SCFD Headquarters at 1075 Mullins Station Road in Memphis last Thursday.
The Shelby County Fire Department administration held a press conference to announce the historic ambulance news. Since 1972, when the SCFD first began answering emergency calls for our citizens, many within these ranks have yearned for our very own fire department – operated ambulances. That day has finally arrived.
“This is a historical time for the Shelby County Fire Department. I’m confident having dedicated Shelby County employees serving in these important emergency medical positions will enable us to have one of best county-operated ambulance services in the nation,” said Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr.
Since the fall of 2016, the SCFD mobilized the very best personnel and applied their unique skill sets to the enormous task of designing and implementing a comprehensive fire-based ambulance service where one did not exist before. It was done in less than sixteen weeks! Two years ago, the SCFD welcomed a new Fire Chief, Alvin D. Benson who had rallied the full support of our local government leaders putting the right people into the right places at exactly the right time. “I have been able to lean on more than thirty years of highly valuable experience from one of the largest fire departments in the United States. I was able to apply what I know right here at the SCFD.” said Fire Chief Benson. “It has been a wealth of hard work, and at the same time among the most satisfying things, to lead this amazing team of skilled professionals into what really is a new and very exciting initiative for us as emergency responders here at the Shelby County Fire Department.”
Deputy Fire Chief Glen F. Kneeland continues.
“Our fire-based emergency medical system provides exceptional value by emphasizing responder safety, professional and compassionate personnel, and a service truly dedicated to our citizens” he said.
Since the effort began last fall, more than fifty Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics have been hired with more on the way as well as the design and construction of twelve state-of-the-art advanced life support ambulances. This in addition to the creation of a new EMS division within the existing department. A division that had to evaluate the needs of the community then author response plans and finally prove to the Tennessee state inspectors that the SCFD created a service worthy of licensing.
“With deployment of these new vehicles, we have continued to build on the commitment of safeguarding our citizens by ensuring high-quality patient care from the receipt of a 911 call to arrival at the hospital” said EMS Division Chief Donald Fletcher.
Star Staff Reports