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SC fire department adjusts to shift in medical calls

Have started outfitting SUV's for firefighters to avoid using 5 MPG apparatus to respond in wake of increase in medical responses

By David Slade
The Post and Courier

CHARLESTON, S.C. — We call them firefighters, but at fire departments across the area, the majority of emergency calls they now answer are for medical assistance.

In large urban departments across the Lowcountry and at smaller rural ones like the St. John's Fire District, medical calls have been growing fast due to a growing, aging population, changes in emergency dispatching, and a lack of preventive medical care among patients, fire officials say.

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