The Baltimore County Fire Department this week significantly expanded emergency medical services, adding four advanced life support medic units to meet the growing demand for EMS.
The additional units were placed into service Monday at the Pikesville, Middle River, Golden Ring and Woodlawn career stations. This brings the number of career medical units in Baltimore County to 35.
The decision to invest $800,000 to expand EMS operations was announced last April, when County Executive Kevin Kamenetz unveiled his Fiscal 2016 budget. EMS calls account for the overwhelming majority of calls handled by the Fire Department; about 92,500 of the 119,000 calls handled each year are medical calls. Moreover, the number of EMS calls continues to grow.
"This fundamental public service is a top priority," Kamenetz said. "When our citizens call for help because of a medical emergency, they deserve to know that qualified help will respond as quickly as possible."
The four medic units will be in service Monday through Friday, 3 to 11 p.m. -- hours of peak demand. BCoFD plans to expand these hours some time in the future.
In addition to medic units operating out of the County's career station, 20 advanced life support and two basic life support medic units are run by Baltimore County volunteer fire companies.