Aurora Rescue earns certificationPublished 11:53pm Monday, October 14, 2013
The Aurora Rescue Squad completed its final step in certification as an advanced life support squad.
“Advanced life support started today,” Capt. Samuel Williams said Monday evening. “This is something that’s new for us and it’s been a long road to get it set up.”
The squad started making the changes necessary to earn the certification earlier this year. It hired eight full-time employees and started offering 24-hour service July 1.
Funding for the new responders came from an increase in the township’s taxes. Williams said the squad’s budget for the next fiscal year would more than double to cover salaries and additional equipment.
The rescue squad also received grant money to fund some equipment, like EKG machines for each rescue truck.
Before July, the squad operated Mondays through Fridays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. with two full-time employees and two part-time employees. About 15 volunteers covered emergencies after hours and on weekends.
Williams said the change was a significant one that shaved 10 to 15 minutes off of the squad’s response times.
The new certification will be another life-saving step for residents south of the Pamlico. Until Monday, Chocowinity Fire Department was the closest advanced life support squadron.
Because Aurora was certified as basic life support, responders were not allowed to administer treatments that required needles or to carry some medications.
“It’s awesome to have this, instead of having to call for additional help,” Williams said. “It’ll make a big difference.”