Public safety will improve in Lexington thanks to a $928,655 federal grant to fund advanced emergency medical training and certification for 27 firefighters. The federal “Assistance to Firefighters Grant” grant will cover overtime cost for students, instructors, and more.
“This is a big step forward for us,” Mayor Linda Gorton said. “We’ve got the best fire department in the state; with this grant, we will be even better.”
Fire Chief Jason Wells said, “Like many communities, the post-pandemic years have seen an uptick in call volume in Lexington. Last year alone we responded to over 66,000 emergency calls, with at least three-quarters of those being medical in nature. To adequately respond to those calls, we must have the absolute best trained and prepared paramedics here at the Lexington Fire Department. This grant will allow us to maintain and increase the capacity of our paramedic class, putting more highly trained providers on the front lines, ready to answer the call. The Lexington Fire Department, with the support of our LFUCG leaders, will continue to seek new and innovative ways to meet the needs of our growing community.
All Lexington firefighters are certified as EMT-basic, which is the norm among professional firefighting departments. However, more than half of Lexington’s firefighters are certified paramedics. Mayor Gorton added, “As a registered nurse that gives me a lot of confidence in our ability to help residents in emergencies and deliver quality medical care.”
Captain Les Fryman, Executive Officer at the Lexington Fire Training Academy, said, “Receiving this grant allows us to continue to train and educate our future paramedics using the latest evidence-based science and the national standard curriculum to ensure we implement exceptional patient care for our citizens and visitors to the area we serve.”
The Fire Department began the nine-month training program for firefighters on Sept. 5, 2023, and they will graduate on May 31, 2024.