Topeka Fire Dept. get new equipment to help save more lives

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Topeka Fire Dept. will soon have new equipment and training. They say it could save more lives at emergency scenes.

Topeka's Fire Chief for EMS, Richard Sigle updated the Topeka City Council this week on the transition to Advanced Life Support operations.

"That is the best situation to give someone a shot at saving somebody's life," he told 13 NEWS.

Sigle says firefighters have EMT training, and 12 have the training of paramedics, but not the right equipment to use their skills.

Firefighters like Lt. Jeff Stanley say getting the ALS equipment on their trucks will help in situations when firefighters arrive at a scene before ambulance.

"We're performing them now and using their equipment, but once we, starting January 1, we'll have our own equipment," Stanley said.

TFD says it can make the change with their existing budget. The long-term goal is to have every company trained and equipped for ALS.

"Anytime you can enhance care or enhance those capabilities and that's what we bring," he said. "We bring some redundancies to the system, we bring those insurance. Thunderstorms, floods, all the things that we face there, all those emergencies still ongoing regardless of the situation so this will allow us to offer that to the citizens."

Sigle says they're not competing with AMR ambulance service.

"We're not replacing AMR, we're not getting in the ambulance business, this simply allows the people that have that skill set to provide that skill set," he said.

TFD hopes to have at least two fire companies equipped by January.