Firefighters from Strathcona County don't have to wait for an ambulance to arrive to help citizens.
It is mandatory that all firefighters in the Strathcona County fire department have at least basic fire and paramedic training.
This is a fairly unique system, with only a handful of other departments across Alberta having the same model. It is something that Strathcona County has done for decades as it allows firefighters, who are often the first responders, capabilities of helping in more situations.
"Because our members can do both jobs, we can deal with whatever emergency pops up based on the demands of the system and our community at the time," said Tim Moen, acting deputy chief.
The department has their own ambulances that are equipped to the same level as Alberta Health Services. The main difference being the department's ambulances are three-person instead of the standard two (for more manpower).
"Our firefighters here spend half their time on the ambulance and half their time on the fire trucks," explained Moen.
The fire trucks are also equipped to handle medical situations. Every fire truck has much of the same equipment as the ambulances do, including heart monitors, defibrillators, life-saving medication and pain medication. The only function they don't have is transportation for the patient.
"But we can bring the emergency room to the patient, so we can stabilize them on scene and wait for the next available ambulance and provide life-saving treatment right there. We think it's a fantastic model and a great service to our community."