The Pattonville Fire Protection District requires all employees to be trained and licensed as paramedics so as to ensure that we can deliver the highest level of emergency medical care to sick or injured individuals who call upon us to intervene in various emergency situations. SSM DePaul Hospital and Pattonville Fire Protection District have a cooperating agreement that identifies SSM DePaul Hospital as our local medical control authority and allows our members to practice emergency medicine as an extension of a physician’s medical license.
Pattonville’s paramedics attend monthly training classes hosted by SSM DePaul Hospital and taught by some of the most highly regarded doctors and nurses in the area. These classes provide continuing education on the treatment of many different conditions that affect sick and injured patients. The newest developments in prehospital emergency medical care are also explained along with guidance on how our paramedics can incorporate it into their existing treatment algorithms.
Pattonville’s paramedics must also maintain certification in four disciplines that encompass the most significant categories of life-threatening medical emergencies. These courses include Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Prehospital Trauma Life Support, which are explained below.
- Basic Life Support (BLS): Trains rescuers to promptly recognize several life-threatening emergencies, give high-quality chest compressions, deliver appropriate ventilations and provide early use of an automated external defibrillator. The BLS course teaches the importance of early CPR and defibrillation, the basic steps in performing CPR, the proper procedure to mitigate choking, and how to effectively use an AED.
- Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS): Provides training and certification on the most updated treatment of adult victims of cardiopulmonary emergencies. The ACLS course teaches how to treat patients suffering from cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest, heart attacks, abnormal heart beats and strokes in the emergency setting.
- Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS): Provides training and certification on the most updated cardiovascular treatment of infants, children and adolescents. The PALS course teaches the importance of a systematic approach to pediatric assessment, basic life support procedures, beneficial treatment algorithms, effective resuscitation and team dynamics. The overall goal of the PALS course is to improve the quality of care provided to seriously ill or injured children.
- Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS): The PHTLS course is considered to be the gold standard for educating rescuers on the best prehospital care for traumatic injuries. The course covers several topics including physiology of life and death; scene assessment; assessment of the trauma patient; airway, breathing, ventilation and oxygenation as it relates to the trauma patient; circulation, hemorrhage and shock in the trauma patient; patients with disabilities; and patient care simulations.
The continuing education program our paramedics complete allows them to maintain proficiency with both the most basic and most advanced medical treatments that can be provided in the prehospital setting. Our paramedics are always prepared to do “Whatever It Takes” to deliver the highest level of prehospital medical care to patients when they need it most.