TULSA, OK -- The Tulsa Fire Department took a green step today by putting two new medical vehicles into their active fleet. The paramedic-manned squad vehicles are now in service on Wednesday at two stations, replacing larger and less fuel efficient fire engines.
The Paramedic Squad Vehicles will respond to medical emergencies that occur in their response areas. Although only two crew members are needed to operate the new vehicles, the number of firefighters on duty at the stations will not be decreased. Ladder trucks and other firefighting apparatus will still be available to respond to fires as usual.
The new vehicles are in service at Fire Station 22, 7305 E. 15th and Fire Station 23, 4348 E. 51 St. They will work in cooperation with EMSA based on the current level of need.
About 70% of the TFD's responses are to medical incidents, according to a department press release. The department includes over 75 paramedics and 450 emergency medical technicians.
In addition to saving the department money, the new medical squad vehicles will reduce the environmental impact of fuel emissions from TFD apparatus, offer a new way of delivering health care and improve customer service, the department said.
If the program is successful it may be expanded.