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A recent Internet theme and challenge among firefighters and police officers has been circulating to help raise money for charities. The challenge: have a bucket of ice water dumped on your head or pay $100 to a local charity. Local servants have been doing both.
Tucson Fire Department Technical Rescue Units rescued a worker who had fallen approximately 15 feet into a trench in the 600 block of South Houghton Road, hoisting him out approximately an hour and a half after the initial fall.
On April 28 at about 4:58 a.m., the Tucson Fire Department responded to an early morning fire that left a family of five displaced in the 700 block of West Tennessee Street, near Irvington Road and 12th Avenue.
The Tucson community will be safer thanks to a $10,000 donation to the Tucson Fire Department. Awarded by Leavitt Recreation and Hospitality Insurance and Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, the funds will purchase smoke detectors for at-risk families in the community and scene lighting.
A fire broke out in the yard of a storage and moving facility located in the 6100 block of East Palo Verde Road. Nearly two dozen 9-1-1 calls were received reporting a large structure fire. Many callers believed that a nearby school might be involved. The first fire crew arrived six minutes after dispatch and found fourteen storage “pods” heavily engulfed in flames. These large containers were stacked two high and flames were over thirty feet high on arrival. After crews forced open a fence to gain access to the fire they immediately placed several hose lines in between the storage pods and a large commercial structure located just fifteen feet away. As additional crews arrived on scene they made entry into the threatened structure to ensure there were no occupants as well as no fire spread. Firefighters were able to confine the fire to the containers and stop it from spreading into the building. There was an elementary school located several hundred feet from the fire but it was never threatened. Eleven units and twenty-six firefighters controlled the fire twenty-eight minutes after arriving on scene. No injuries were reported and no permanent structures were burned in the fire. All storage pods appeared to be empty of contents. The damages are estimated at $ 50,000
Tucson Fire Department received multiple calls from passers by reporting fire from a water heater attached to a house.
A fire completely destroyed a mobile home in the 1100 block of West Miracle Mile, the fire being started intentionally.
Tucson Fire units responded to a three-story house heavily involved in flames in the 800 block of West Green Street early today, having to fight it from the exterior due to the amount of fire as well as a concern that the home could collapse.
Whether it's a bicycle collision or difficulty breathing, the UA community can count on quick help from students trained and certified as EMTs.
The University of Arizona Student Emergency Medical Services, or UASEMS, group has been operational for three semesters and provides assistance in medical emergencies. Its leaders emphasize thorough training and certification.
"We're students at the UA who happen to be EMTs. We're not student EMTs," says Derek Smith, manager of UA Student Emergency Medical Services and a non-degree-seeking graduate student.
When Brandon Murphy arrived at the UA three years ago, he didn't find any options for students to work in EMS on campus. He met up with two other students – who've since graduated – to begin brainstorming a program that students could run. They looked at other universities that have student EMS programs and modeled a club after the best practices they found around the country. It took two years to work through the administration and risk management officials, but they were able to start as a club with ASUA funding and began responding in spring 2012.
UASEMS switched to funding from the student service fee and began expanding hours in fall 2012. As the fall progressed, the group did too, taking on additional days until they were operating from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. seven days a week.
UASEMS this year was the sole EMS provider at the Tucson Festival of Books, saving the festival $4,000 by not using the Tucson Fire Department. UASEMS also works stand-by at Spring Fling, football games and tailgating and when requested for special events, like the Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure.
"Anything that occurs on campus, we can be there," Murphy says. "Our members do get put into emergencies where they're the only person there, so we make sure they're held to the same certification. We weren't going to settle for a CPR certification or anything else. We make sure everyone has state certification."
UASEMS finished the semester with 32 student members, most of whom are certified Emergency Medical Technicians, with the same Arizona training and certification as a Southwest Basic Life Support Ambulance. Two EMTs staff each 12-hour shift, sometimes along with an additional Certified First Responder, and typically respond to at least two calls for service. On its busiest day, UASEMS responded to 12 calls in a 24-hour period.
Common calls for service deal with fall victims, injuries from pedestrian, bicycle or vehicle collisions and respiratory distress.
"It's part of our emergency mission to provide a quick, rapid response and be the first to provide care until further medical care arrives," Murphy says.
By checking vital signs and reporting to paramedics, the student EMTs can eliminate a step and save valuable time if a patient needs to be taken to a hospital.
"There are calls where we take the blood pressure while waiting for TFD and give the information right to them so they can load and go. They appreciate it," Murphy says.
Many students join out of an interest in a future medical career, some have even gone on to medical school already, while others are considering EMT as a career. Interest is growing; the group has received 80 applications since the fall that they haven't been able to accept. They're hoping to take on as many as 10 in the fall and hope to expand to providing EMS service around the clock, seven days as week.
UASEMS has a golf cart and two bicycles, all equipped with emergency gear. UAPD ride-alongs are a mandatory part of the orientation, which includes 20 hours of vigorous bike training and instruction on bloodborne pathogens and health privacy laws. The members participate in monthly continuing education courses and perform mock drills during the week.
"It's real-life, in-the-field experience they can't get shadowing somebody in a hospital," says Murphy, a junior in communications from New Jersey. "Here, you're set to a standard and you have a responsibility. That is your patient until further medical attention arrives."
They tromped through mud, scaled rooftops and crawled through the dark on a sooty, dirt-covered floor, and there wasn't a boy among them.