New medical equipment to help patients in the east valley

Monday begins a historic new service to residents of Apache Junction as new equipment for emergency patients on the east valley comes to the Superstition Fire and Medical District.

"They are going to get transportation faster and it will be more reliable and we have better resources for equipment, training and manpower and staffing," Capt. David Pohlman said.

Superstition Fire and Medical partnered up with Southwest Ambulance to transports patients to the hospital.

"They're going to do the basic life support transports and we are going to advance life support transport, where all the emergent code 3 lights and sires type transports," Capt. Pohlman said.

These two new ambulances ran calls for the first time Monday morning.

"For many years, the private industry has been running ambulance transports or emergency transports throughout the valley," Capt. Pohlman said. "Few fire departments have their own transportation capabilities."

In addition to the new transportation abilities, the district also got a power-loading system to move the gurney.

"It will lower down automatically when the opening of this door, that's to get the gurney at the right height," Capt. Pohlman said.

The automatic gurney can hold up to 750 pounds, or three firefighters. The gurney can also hold patients securely, all while protecting firefighters' backs from the heavy weight.

"Back injuries are pretty costly now-a-days," Capt. Pohlman said.

Both new units also have air conditioning units with an average cool down time of nine minutes, rather than the average 22 minutes in the older units.

The fire chief says it's a big win-win for the district and communities in the east valley.