Trending Topics

N.Y. fire department launches certification program for EMS

The Massena Fire Department’s program offers hands-on training, including CPR, basic trauma care, patient assessment and emergency medical procedures

By Bob Beckstead
Watertown Daily Times, N.Y.

MASSENA, N.Y. — The Massena Fire Department and Massena Rescue Squad have developed a new partnership.

Fire Chief Patrick M. O’Brien said his department has launched a Certified First Responder Program aimed at enhancing emergency response capabilities “and serving the community with even greater efficiency and expertise.”

The program, a collaborative initiative with the Massena Rescue Squad, equips firefighters and emergency personnel with the advanced skills and knowledge that’s necessary to provide immediate medical assistance and support in various crises.

O’Brien said the initiative recognizes the critical role that first responders play in emergencies and the need for more trained emergency medical personnel.

“The introduction of the Certified First Responder Program represents a significant milestone for the Massena Fire Department and reflects our unwavering commitment to the safety and well-being of our community,” he said. “By empowering our personnel with specialized training and expertise, we can better serve those in need during critical moments.”

Program participants take part in rigorous coursework and hands-on training to acquire essential lifesaving techniques, including CPR, basic trauma care, patient assessment, and emergency medical procedures. O’Brien said the curriculum “adheres to the highest standards, ensuring that responders are proficient in delivering prompt and effective care during emergencies.”

“The heart of the program is the near dozen newly trained or previously certified Emergency Medical Technicians among our staff, both career and volunteer. This core group of responders is then supplemented with additional volunteer members trained to assist by certifying in CPR, first aid, AED, and Narcan administration,” he said.

The program has been active for two months and, since its inception, the department has responded to more than 200 calls in this new capacity. The department had responded to 475 medical assists for all of 2023.

O’Brien said the department has seen its call volume steadily increase, going from 263 calls in 2007 to responding more than 1,100 times in calendar year 2023, a 322% increase. But, they continue to provide personnel with the latest training to address all types of emergencies.

“During the last five years, the department has proactively trained and equipped its members for not only this new program, but also vehicle extrication, water rescue, ice rescue, hazardous materials response, and rope rescue,” he said.

He said Implementing the program “underscores the Massena Fire Department’s dedication to continuous improvement and readiness to adapt to evolving challenges in emergency response. In collaboration with local healthcare providers and emergency services, the department remains steadfast in providing the highest quality care and support to residents and visitors alike.”

For more information about the program and other initiatives undertaken by the Massena Fire Department, visit or email


(c)2024 Watertown Daily Times (Watertown, N.Y.)
Visit Watertown Daily Times (Watertown, N.Y.) at
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.