Fire Station #16 rolls out new medic unit
On Monday, August 1st, the Golden Ring Fire Station #16 welcomed a new addition to their ranks. The station is now equipped with new, state-of-the-art medic unit, the fourth one in the Baltimore County Fire De- partment’s EMS fleet. The Golden Ring station was given the unit because it is considered a “high-volume station,” meaning that it goes out on multiple calls a day.
“They’ve strategically placed the four units in
service in different areas of the county to meet that need,” said Fire Captain Timothy Hamlett.
Station #16 is so busy because the area it serves is so highly populated. With so many townhomes and apartments crammed in one area, the Golden Ring crew is helping a lot of people with a lot of different ailments. While they primarily serve the Rosedale and Essex neighborhoods, it’s not uncommon for the station members to be called out to places all over Baltimore County.
That’s where this new unit, which is operated during the “busy times”, or Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m, comes in. Equipped with up-todate technology and new features, the unit makes the jobs of the EMS professionals easier while creating a less stressful experience for the patient being transported.
For example, Hamlett said one of the best new features in the newer medic models is an automated stretcher that rises and lowers with the push of a button.
“This has probably been the biggest change in EMS and it’s been the greatest help,” he said. “It helps with the back and extends careers.”
The electronic stretcher can hold patients up to 700 pounds and only takes one person to operate it, even with a heavier patient, as opposed to the old system which required two or more lifters.
“It’s a lot easier on the patient too, especially those that have back injuries or elderly passengers. When you manually lift them, you kind of have to jerk them up and it’s a little rough, no matter how gentle you try to be,” said PM Ryan Everson. “This has really helped patient care. Once we stabilize them quicker, we can get them to the hospital quicker.”
At 27 feet long, the vehicle is three feet longer than the older model which Everson said gives him more room and allows easier movement when the vehicle is in motion.
There are other seemingly smallscale changes, such as a new suspension system that create a less bumpy ride and safety locks on the drawers and cabinets. There is also a built-in car seat in one of the chairs, which is important since many of the cases the station responds to are motor vehicle accidents.
“These fixes may seem trivial, but through the years of experience and people riding in the back, these kinds of enhancement really make it better for the patient,” said Everson.
He added that since the unit makes many calls on busy highways like 6-95 and Route 40, the new unit has brighter, more reflective lights on the outside that can be seen from over a half mile away which makes the vehicle more identifiable to other drivers, alerting them of them incident, while protecting the riders being cared for.
All the changes in the new unit were guided by the feedback of medic crews and a push to make the technology more user-friendly. Hamlett said it took several years of analysis to create the most efficient vehicle while determining where they would be assigned.
There are four other medical units in Baltimore County, one is in Middle River and the other two are on the west side, in Woodlawn and Pikesville. The Golden Ring unit costs approximately $340,000 and Hamlett said they are discussing the idea of placing more of the vehicles in other parts of the county.
“They’ve found that it’s helped out the system so much so they’re talking about bringing in another unit or two in the future,” he said.