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Denver firefighters now able to administer IVs during emergencies

New policy is one of more than three dozen changes following lengthy Denver7 investigation
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Denver Fire Chief
Posted at 9:45 PM, Feb 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-11 00:12:13-05

DENVER — Roughly nine months after multiple Denver firefighters spoke to Denver7 Investigates, lamenting the level of care they could perform on emergency calls, a new policy is in place.

Now, Denver firefighters are permitted to administer IVs on emergency calls after receiving training in recent weeks and months.

“I did not expect this kind of change this fast,” said Kevin Apuron, a former Denver firefighter who had previously spoken to Denver7 Investigates to express frustration at the lack of care Denver Fire was allowed to provide on calls. “It allows for the citizens of Denver to receive medical procedures quicker.”

This change in policy is one of nearly three dozen sparked by a series of Denver7 investigations into theculture and leadership inside the paramedic division of Denver Health, which holds the contract to provide ambulatory services in the city of Denver.

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Denver Fire Chief Desmond Fulton called this policy change on IVs “significant.”

“It means a better outcome for the patient, and it means that we’re better able to utilize our strengths and abilities and have the opportunity to make a difference when it means the most," Fulton said.

Data shows that Denver firefighters respond to more than 80,000 medical calls per year. The change allows firefighters to assist with diabetic emergencies and other critical calls to allow for a faster time to the hospital once paramedics arrive.