The City of Tonawanda Fire Department has been licensed by the state to administer fentanyl to patients, which will be used by paramedics to alleviate pain in severe cases, and midozolam to suppress seizures.
Capt. Joshua Lapham announced the new licensing and said new training is necessary to meet the evolving and challenging changes of medical care.
Lapham said the state requires advanced life support first responders that do not transport patients, such as the Tonawanda Fire Department, to be licensed to administer narcotics. He said with more than half of its professional firefighters trained as paramedics, the department's choice was to update its licensing or reduce the level of care it provides.
The Advanced Life Support Prehospital Controlled Substance accreditation required the fire department to go through a two-year licensing process.