Paramedics of Karelian Specialized Fire Department save people

09 December 2013 17:31
Mikhail Baikov
Head of Medical Services at the Specialized Fire Department of the Federal Fire Service of the Republic of Karelia
Paramedics of Karelian Specialized Fire Department save people

For about 16 years, paramedics have been doing the service together with firefighters in Karelia. The Petrozavodsk Medical Service within the Specialized Fire Department for the response to major fires was among the first units of this kind created in Russia. Today, such units are operating in Irkutsk and Murmansk Regions, in St. Petersburg. The aim of such medical rescue workers is providing the necessary first aid to the victims. The Karelian Unit is headed by Major of Internal Service Mikhail Nikolayevich Baikov.


- A medical car sets out together with Petrozavodsk fire units to respond all the accidents that may require medical attention. All medical workers of the Specialized Fire Department have diplomas and valid certificates of emergency medical care or surgery specialists. In addition, they have undergone training at the intensive care unit of the city hospital and a training course at the Karelian Disaster Medicine Centre.


Every day Medical Service personnel enter on duty together with firefighters. All medical workers are certified rescuers. They can work directly in the emergency area, and they know the procedures for rescue operations. This allows them to start helping the victim immediately after arrival. Let me remind you that ambulance personnel are strictly forbidden to enter the area of ??emergency where there is a danger to their lives and health.


For example, recently, a woman was injured in a traffic accident in Petrozavodsk. She was in a car with heavy bleeding and in a state of shock. All the doors were locked, and the only way to reach the victim was through the rear window of the mangled car. Ambulance workers could not do it physically. Employees of the Medical Service of the Specialized Fire Department did everything necessary, gave her anesthetics, applied a tourniquet and put a neck immobilizer (collar). After unlocking, the victim was handed over to doctors for transporting to hospital.



- And how often do such things happen?


- In an average, we respond about 200 times a month. For example, last year, we were called to the accident scenes 2,500 times, of which 163 were traffic accidents, and we provided medical assistance to 191 victims in traffic accidents. We also saved 39 people from fires.


Thus, in September this year, medical workers of the Specialized Fire Department - Warrant Officer of Internal Service Alexander Rudakov, Senior Warrant Officer of Internal Service Igor Lukin and Senior Sergeant of Internal Service Vadim Klyukvin - responded to a fire in the city of Petrozavodsk on Zaitsev Street together with fire crews.


When they arrived, thick smoke was billowing from the windows at the second floor of an apartment building, and two units of the Smoke and Fire Protection Service of the Fire Department No.4 had already been working inside. Tenants who were locked in their apartments on the second and third floors were asking for help from open windows. After taking into consideration the rapid spread of fire and a heavy workload of the Smoke and Fire Protection Service, our medical rescuers decided to climb the three-section ladder and conduct the reconnaissance, search and evacuation of people from the upper floors.


In one of the apartments, they found a child who was unconscious with signs of poisoning by combustion products. After the evacuation, rescuers carried out cardiopulmonary resuscitation with oxygen supply and lung ventilation. When the child regained consciousness, he was handed over to an ambulance crew. On that day, as a result of a well-conducted reconnaissance, six people, including three children, were evacuated from the second floor of an apartment house.


- Medical rescue vehicles should be well equipped to provide such assistance...


- Yes, you are right. Two cars of the three are fully equipped in accordance with the requirements of the Ministry of Health. But we also have equipment that most mobile intensive care units do not have. For example, vacuum mattresses, a capnometer - a device for measuring the level of carbon dioxide in the blood. Undoubtedly, this equipment allows us to enhance the quality and efficiency of response, especially in trauma and resuscitation cases.


- What else are the medical rescuers involved in, apart from emergency response?


- One of our tasks is conducting pre-trip medical examinations of employees of the Petrozavodsk Fire Garrison. We provide medical support during training in a fire simulator, a smoke chamber, during sports competitions and other events, and render qualified medical aid to firefighters and their families.


At the Specialized Fire Department, first aid training courses are held not only for the personnel of the Fire Service, the State Small Vessels Directorate and rescuers, but also for students of the Cadet Corps and "Young Rescuer "cadet classes, representatives of youth organizations and groups from law enforcement agencies.


We also conduct such training for nursing personnel of Karelian intensive care units within the advanced training courses at the medical college in Petrozavodsk. Doctors are getting familiar with the medical care procedures in the emergency area, triage types, have practice in resuscitation actions.


- Mr. Baikov, what are the Medical Service prospects, in your opinion?


- Years of experience have proved the necessity and viability of the Unit, which experts are able to promptly set out to the accident scene and provide qualified first aid to the victims. Unfortunately, our Service is the only one of its kind in Karelia. We only cover the area of Petrozavodsk and the Prionezhskiy District. It does not allow us to quickly provide assistance in other areas of the Republic.


It is desirable that paramedics certified to render emergency medical care carry out 24-hour duty at each Fire Department. Such a procedure is adopted in several countries, and in particular, by our closest neighbors - Finland. I think it will speed up the start of medical help in the prehospital period, improve the health literacy of experts involved in emergency response and rescue operations, and release significant economic resources. In my opinion, saved lives are a valid reason for the creation and development of such services in other regions.