Detroit firefighters take on medical runs and save lives

Posted at 5:59 PM, Mar 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-31 15:17:32-04

The City of Detroit is the latest to follow a national trend. Most of its firefighters are now taking emergency medical runs after two years of training.

Mayor Mike Duggan announced that 624 of 871 Detroit Fire personnel are now certified medical first responders.

The city launched a program in April 2015 to train firefighters to respond to medical calls.

“Twelve thousand times last year our firefighters were the first to get to a scene on a code one ahead of the ambulances,” said Duggan.

The mayor says it has helped improve response times.  Before the program started in April 2015, response times for life-threatening medical calls were 10 minutes 41 seconds on average.  They are now eight and a half minutes.

“The firefighters are doing it,” said Mike Nevin, Detroit Firefighters Association President. “They’re kicking ass out there.”

During a press conference on Thursday John Samuels, Jr. spoke. He says firefighters Thomas Barrett and Joseph Nabozny, working with EMT Nick Rohrs, saved his life.

“I wouldn’t be here,” said Samuels. “It does get emotional sometimes when I am with my family. Like today. It might be raining, but it is a beautiful rain.”