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Lockport firefighters may be allowed to perform life support

LOCKPORT – City of Lockport firefighters may soon be allowed to carry out basic life support functions at rescue calls, Fire Chief Patrick K. Brady said Friday.

He said a regional committee has approved and sent to the state Health Department the city’s request for a permit allowing firefighters to perform functions beyond simple first aid if they arrive at a rescue call before Twin City Ambulance does. Basic life support may include administering some drugs for cardiac problems or allergic reactions, Brady said.

The Fire Department’s ambulance service was shut down in September 2014, a financial move that the firefighters’ union is challenging in a grievance proceeding. Since then, firefighters have been limited to first aid when they are sent to a “hot call” by Niagara County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers.

The new policy won’t cost the city anything, Brady said. “We already own all the equipment, we already have all the training,” the chief said.