Pickens Fire Department to add life support service

PICKENS — The Pickens Fire Department announced last week that it will add basic life support first-response capabilities to its range of services.

The agency’s fleet recently added emergency medical technicians, so the department will now be capable of delivering basic medical care prior to the arrival of transport ambulances at emergency scenes.

“We are extremely proud to announce the addition of basic life support services to the residents of Pickens,” chief Chris Elrod said. “The mission in the fire service is to protect property and save lives, and this one addition to the service provided will help us to fulfill this mission.”

The department, which was started in 1933, will be considered a licensed provider by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

In order to achieve that goal, the department must have a minimum number of EMTs to provide services. Those currently who do not hold that certification but who have a desire to provide the highest level of service possible will be given the opportunity to further their training to become Certified EMTs, officials said.

Department medical training officer Michelle Leet will ensure all criteria are met while providing continuing education.

“We are fortunate to have Michelle on board,” Elrod said. “She is a medical professional who brings vast experience of pre-hospital medicine and patient care. With her knowledge, combined with the determination of a strong department, this move to incorporate basic life support services will provide our community with the best care possible.

“We will always continue to evaluate our community needs to ensure our citizens are provided with the most appropriate level of fire and EMS services.”

The department is currently awaiting an on-site inspection and approval from DHEC. Pending that approval, Pickens Fire would then be issued its license to operate in a basic life support capacity.

For more information on the Pickens Fire Department, contact (864) 878-2610 or visit