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February

Burr! That seems to be the word of the month for January. Hopefully February will bring slightly warmer weather to Southern Idaho.  Let’s pray that the ground hog doesn’t see his shadow this February 2nd, although I don’t think he’ll be able to get out of his hole with the amount of snow covering his exit this year. The big red trucks burn through a little more fuel these days due to the fact that we have to keep them running any time they aren’t parked inside the station. This isn’t so we have a nice warm cab to jump into when we need to go somewhere but it’s to keep the pumps, piping and on-board water from freezing and causing problems. So if you see a fire engine running with no one inside it, now you know why.

There have been a lot of changes here lately at the fire department and more are changes are in the works for the future. All good changes I might add. One change is our work schedule, we went from a 24 hour on duty-48 hour off duty schedule to a 48 hour on duty-96 hour off schedule. This is a benefit to not only the firefighters but to the department as well, we will be able to give more time and effort to important tasks.  We now have 48 hours to complete projects and assignments instead of leaving a project half completed after a 24 hour shift. This new schedule also gives firefighters more time away from the station to recover and unwind from a hard shift, something that studies have shown can increase a firefighters quality of life now and post retirement. There was a time that the average life span of a firefighter was only 57. Now days with new studies and practices that number has gone up significantly. Plus the moral at the station appears to be at an all-time high!

Another important change as of recent, is that the fire department is responding to medical emergencies with in our response area. This change allows us to provide a better service to the citizens we serve by providing assistance to paramedic units who respond to these calls. In quite a number of cases it provides help quicker and medical care is started sooner for someone in need by responding fire units. Paramedics still respond to all calls and transport patients to the hospital if needed, but they now have fire crews on scene providing patient updates and to assist when the ambulance arrives in any way possible. This new practice also allows us to use our newly advanced medical training and gain experience with these type of calls. This increased call volume has brought with it some minor growing pains, but these growing pains are met with excitement and eager anticipation from the fire boys.

Well, that's about it for this month. Until next time don’t forget to wave to the guys in the BRT!


BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!

Three members of the Twin Falls Fire Department were presented with a “Chief’s” coin of appreciation for their life saving measures on Christmas Eve. They were called to an incident where a female was found unresponsive and without a pulse. They worked alongside Magic Valley Paramedics and were able to get a pulse back. The patient was transported to St. Luke’s MVMC and a few days later the patient walked out of the hospital without assistance.   

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