Emergencies Get Faster Response with Philadelphia Fire Department’s Innovative Approach: Alternative Response Unit Pilot Program
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is enhancing its emergency response through a collaboration with the Philadelphia Fire Department (PFD). The Fire Department recently inaugurated its latest Alternative Response Unit, AR30, at the terminal. The innovative pilot program stations emergency medical personnel inside the airport. In this way, they can guarantee a swift medical response for passengers and employees requiring immediate attention.
With this cutting-edge initiative, PHL takes a significant stride towards enhancing airport safety, joining the ranks of cities such as Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Charlotte, and San Francisco. These airports responded to urgent passenger and employee health needs with a roaming unit or medical facilities inside the terminal.
“Providing care at a moment’s notice can be a matter of life and death,” says Martin McCall, the PFD’s Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Emergency Medical Services (EMS). “With AR30, we aim to reduce response times to travelers, airport staff, and airline crew members with urgent medical needs.”
Comprehensive Medical Assistance at PHL with AR30
The two medics assigned to the Alternative Response Unit (AR30) are on hand to provide immediate medical assistance at PHL. Equipped with a non-transporting medical cart that boasts advanced life support capabilities, these medics are prepared for any situation. Their resources include CPR, AED, IVs, heart monitors, medications, bandaging, and other patient care equipment. Centrally located in Terminal C, the AR30 operates from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.. The emergency response team offers its services to anyone within PHL’s terminals and post-security checkpoints.
Extended Emergency Assistance
The Fire Communications Center can dispatch Medic 30 from Engine 78, PHL’s dedicated firehouse, for emergencies outside designated areas or requiring hospital transport. This fully equipped ambulance is staffed by medics who can provide emergency care and facilitate transport to the hospital. Notably, many travelers hesitate to seek medical help due to potential disruptions to their itinerary. Therefore, the presence of AR30 in the terminals, providing quick and professional EMS care, is paramount.
The Alternative Response Unit 30 (AR30) initiative is already in operation. It has received resounding approval and positive feedback from airport employees and travelers alike. This early success shows the program’s potential to significantly enhance safety and emergency response at Philadelphia International Airport.
“It has been a long project and we are happy it finally came through. We understand that it’s a pilot program and that’s why we are closely monitoring the performance of AR30 to see if we can make it a long-term commitment,” says Airport Fire Chief Kamau Bright.
Exceptional Service by AR30 Medics
Critically, in their second week of operation, the AR30 medics provided life-saving procedures for an individual suffering from cardiac arrest. Remarkably, they arrived at the scene in approximately a minute. Medic 30 subsequently transported the individual to the hospital. Undoubtedly, the swift response and immediate intervention by the AR30 team gave the patient a fighting chance to survive.