With the effectiveness of the paramedic concept having been recognized internationally, it is surprising to note that here in Los Angeles County, where the first paramedic teams were trained, out of the county’s 84 cities there are still five without paramedic programs as part of their local fire departments.
I started Los Angeles County’s paramedic program in 1970, after first getting then-Gov. Ronald Reagan to sign the enabling legislation for the pilot program. Since then, Los Angeles County’s paramedics have performed nearly a million rescue runs, saving literally thousands of lives.
No one in our community should be denied this lifesaving emergency program, which brings expert health care to the scene of an accident or heart attack. I hope the cities of Alhambra, La Habra Heights, Lynwood, San Gabriel and Sierra Madre will take action this year to create paramedic programs to serve their citizens.