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Top of the World neighborhood gets new rescuer

Residents in Laguna Beach’s Top of the World neighborhood now have a paramedic nearby in case of emergencies.

On Tuesday, one paramedic started working at Station No. 3 at 2900 Alta Laguna Blvd., making it the third of four stations citywide staffed with paramedics.

“This addition will enhance the department’s ability to provide advanced life support services in a reduced amount of time,” according to a news release. “This is especially important for the community as two schools are also located in Station [No. 3’s] response area.”

The city didn’t hire any new paramedics, instead waiting for existing firefighters to complete certification.

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The state licenses all paramedics, who are sponsored by local fire departments and accredited to practice by the Orange County Emergency Medical Services Agency, Laguna Fire Chief Jeff LaTendresse wrote in an email.

In approving a two-year budget last June, the City Council allocated $30,000 in one-time costs and $57,000 in both fiscal years to upgrade one fire engine and pay certification costs of four firefighters, which will eventually bring the department’s total of state-licensed paramedics to 21.

Three employees are still working toward certification. Provided they reach that goal, LaTendresse would then decide which station they would work at.

The Forest Avenue and South Laguna stations each have two paramedics on site. Laguna’s Agate Street station is the only location without paramedics on site.

The city didn’t need to make any building renovations to handle the new paramedic at the Alta Laguna station, LaTendresse added.


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