On December 1, 2015 Rescue 18 (R18) went into service as the primary Advanced Life Support (ALS) unit responding from station 18. I have been stressing for years that the call load would increase significantly if we had two ALS units and these two units would be justified under the Pinellas County call volume funding formula(Total calls versus the Zone Report). As you can see from the chart below, the call volume has significantly increased and station 18 has an average 17.9 calls per day after five months of active service. That means between R18 and Engine 18 (E18) they are responding to a tremendous call volume each day. Last month Station 18 broke the previous month’s call record and reached 600 EMS calls during the month of April 2016.
Those are extraordinary numbers for station 18 and your Lealman Firefighters are working hard to provide premium fire and Emergency Medical Service(EMS) to all of our residents. It is important to point out that Station 19 is right behind the call load of Station 18. You have really well trained and many experienced fire and EMS personnel working hard each and every day to keep your community safe. We have hired several new firefighters who are currently in college to become paramedics. These firefighters are already working on our trucks and learning how Pinellas County EMS works. Our more experienced paramedics are supervising them as they gain valuable experience and the educational requirements to one day have “orders from our medical director” to become a fully certified firefighter paramedic. This process can easily take one to two years for all of the requirements to be achieved. None of the new firefighter paramedics are released to work without supervision until they have met all state and local requirements.
Thank you for the support of your firefighters and the Lealman Special Fire Control District over the past several decades. Especially the last 15 years as I have had the privilege of leading the operations as the Fire Chief. Under the direction of the Fire Commission, we have accomplished far more than anyone could have expected and we are not done yet.
I consider it a blessing to be the fire chief for this district and I am pleased with the mission of the Lealman Fire District.