The Village of Lindenhurst has hired a paramedic with controlled substance expertise to assist the fire department in meeting a new state mandate.
The village board recently approved the hiring of Justin Krause, an emergency medical technician for Stony Brook University, as a part-time "controlled substance agent/paramedic" at $23 per hour.
The Lindenhurst Fire Department is certified as an advanced life support provider, with EMTs and paramedics who can assist patients to a higher degree than basic emergency service, said Chief Michael McCloud. "Any EMT can handle someone with a broken ankle," he said. "But when you have cardiac arrests and allergic reactions, there are other medications that we can use that the basic EMT can't use."
The state has now mandated that if a department is going to be an ALS provider, EMTs must have the ability to administer narcotics, McCloud said. These drugs include morphine and Valium, which can be used for treating cardiac arrests and seizures, respectively, he said.
McCloud said Krause was hired not only for his certification in administering narcotics, but also because he has set the program up for other departments. He will train members of the Lindenhurst department so they can be certified to administer narcotics.
"We're volunteers, we're novices at this," McCloud said. "He brings a lot of experience to the table."
The narcotics will be kept in safes in the firehouse and the ambulances. Members of the department will have to enter a personal code to access the drugs, McCloud said.
It will cost about $30,000 to implement the program, McCloud said. He said about 65 ALS departments in Suffolk County are working to comply with the mandate, which goes into effect in April.