Mesquite Fire Rescue has implemented a Critical Care Paramedic Transport Program. Four
Firefighter/Paramedics attended a 116 hour training program in Las Vegas taught by nurses and physicians with subjects in advanced pharmacology, advanced physiology, advanced airway management, and cadaver labs. This intense instruction was followed up with a 120 hour field internship running critical care transports under the guidance and direction of an experienced CCT Paramedic or Nurse in the Las Vegas EMS system. The certification process concludes with the Paramedics sitting for the Certified Critical Care Paramedic (CCPC) Exam administered by the International Board of Specialty Certification (IBSC). This incredibly challenging exam has a very high first time fail rate. Firefighter/Paramedic Jayson Andrus was the first of our Paramedics to pass the exam. Firefighter/Paramedic Karen Hughes has also passed and is fully certified, and the other 2 Paramedics have completed all of the didactic requirements and are scheduled to take the exam.
CCT Paramedics are allowed to perform skills and give medications above and beyond what normal Paramedics are allowed to give, including Succinylcholine, Cardizem, IV Nitroglycerin, and SoluMedrol among others. They are also carrying Surgical Cricothyrotomy kits and transport ventilators. The decision on which medications to add to the formulary was made in close cooperation with Mesquite Fire Rescue administration and staff, medical director Jarrod Johnson, DO, as well as the Emergency Room staff of Mesa View Regional Hospital.
The Program has been implemented utilizing existing Rescue/Ambulances as well as existing staffing. On days that one of the CCT Paramedics is working, they carry an additional bag with medications as well as their transport ventilator. The CCT Paramedics are able to utilize their expanded scope of practice on any 911 call that their skills may be necessary, as well as Interfacility Transports. Mesquite CCT Paramedics have now utilized these advanced skills on both an interfacility transport with a seriously ill patient and also a 911 call with a patient with a very high heart rate that the crew was able to resolve utilizing a medication not carried by normal paramedics in Clark County.
“We’re already seeing the results since we were approved on July 1st. This was evident during a 911 call this morning where the techniques we trained for were utilized. It took what could have been a tragic event to stabilizing the patient in a matter of minutes,” said Fire Chief Kash Christopher.