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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
EMS keeps base safe

By Jason M. Webb | | July 1, 2010

Trauma calls to Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s Fire and Emergency Services have diminished in the last few years.

But for emergency services personnel, it does not mean there are any less number of important and life-saving calls each day.

As trends in emergency services reflect the time, such as trauma being the largest number of responses before Voluntary Protection Plan was enacted, or the number of responses to base housing when there was a larger number of Marines and their families in the 70s, emergency services has had to learn a larger set of skills beyond fighting fires and providing an ambulance.

The modern day emergency services offered here is a well-trained unit of highly-skilled firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics.

“We provide all elements of the fire service. We also provide hazardous materials emergency operations, EMS, which is emergency medical service, and within that service we provide advanced life support which is basically the highest level of care you can receive pre-hospital,” said Jake Hackett, paramedic, MCLB Albany Fire and Emergency Services.

The highest level is the medic, who is able to interpret electrocardiogram meter readings and administer front line cardiac medication in the event of a cardiac arrest.

An EMT provides basic care and assists the paramedic in most cases and provides basic and advanced life support.

All personnel working in either of two locations on base are firefighters as well.

Training for all emergency services personnel range from hazardous materials to Advanced Certified Life Support, on top of 180 hours of firefighter training each year.

“We have eight paramedics who are nationally registered and state licensed, so they fit the bill on two levels. The rest of the firemen who work here are EMTs, so everybody that works here in this building is a medical professional,” Hackett said. “If you went to New York City you wouldn’t get any better care from any better trained people than you would get here on this base.”

The range of services Hackett’s unit provides can vary on any given day.

From responding to a hazardous spill to responding to an injury at the base Commissary, his unit has to be ready for anything, said Jack Colby, fire chief, MCLB Albany Fire and Emergency Services.

“Most people don’t tend to think about the base the way it is. The base is divided into thirds. The industrial, administrative and residential parts. It’s everything that you would find in any town,” Colby said.

Like any town, emergency services has to be well trained to handle new challenges and face new threats.

Colby makes sure that new training is available to handle any type of emergency.

There are 32 personnel who make up emergency services and work around the clock to make sure those working and living aboard the base are safe at all times.

“When a vacation comes up, or a weekend, or time off, I don’t lay awake at night worrying about this,” Colby said. “I’m comfortable and confident with the people that I’ve got working here. I know they will do their best.”