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MOORPARK : Decision Delayed on Station Paramedics

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The Moorpark City Council decided at 1 a.m. Thursday to delay a decision on putting paramedics in city fire stations.

More than 30 firefighters turned out for the meeting Thursday night to support the proposal, aimed at reducing response time to medical emergencies. But most of them had left by the time the council delayed a decision on the plan.

Under the proposal, paramedics would be hired for the city’s two fire stations. Additional medical equipment would be carried on ladder trucks.

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City Council members have been researching the issue since November.

The Ventura County Professional Firefighters Assn., which supports having paramedics in all county fire stations, has asked Moorpark to test the program for a year. The decision would have to be approved by the County Board of Supervisors and the Fire Protection District.

Staffing the fire stations with paramedics would cost the city $70,000 the first year and $20,000 per year after that. It would reduce response time to under six minutes, members told the council.

About 80% of the calls to the station concern medical emergencies, but firefighters are only able to perform such basic services as taking blood pressure or administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation, council members said.

Paramedics are able to give a patient medicine. Mayor Paul Lawrason said other agencies in the county have been studying ways to improve the system, and the council should wait for the completion of those studies. The county is expecting results of its own study on the issue this fall, he said.

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