Full-time paramedics start with Clanton Fire

Published 11:26 am Wednesday, December 1, 2021

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Clanton Fire Department welcomed its first full-time paramedics on Dec. 1.

Each has ambulance experience in the region and applied to the Clanton position to work closer to home.

“That’s the biggest thing is I am just close to home now,” Roy Jones of Clanton said.

He has four years of experience working for an ambulance service after having received his paramedic license in 2017.

Jones had become interested in training to be a paramedic while volunteering with a fire department.

“I enjoyed what I was doing,” Jones said. “I enjoy helping people.”

Victoria McMinn and Kaylan Johnson were both working for Regional Paramedical Services when they applied to the Clanton positions.

McMinn had completed her paramedic license in 2016 in New York. Several of her friends in the fire department had strongly encouraged her to complete her basic EMT and paramedic training. In 2019, she came back to Chilton County and started working for RPS.

“I grew up here,” McMinn said. “It’s close to home. It is going to be nice being able to help take care of our community.”

Since RPS covers several counties, the Clanton position will allow the paramedics to stay in one place.

“Making sure that there is someone here to take care of our people is a big deal,” McMinn said.

Johnson, who lives in Clanton, completed her paramedic license in 2017.

“Being able to provide care to other people’s families, knowing the need for care in the city and having family in the city … that’s a good feeling,” Johnson said.

Having full-time paramedics for Clanton was made possible through an agreement with RPS.

In addition to hiring these three paramedics, who are now city employees, the city will provide advanced life support equipment and a place to park the ambulance.

RPS is providing an ambulance and a driver for it as well as basic life support equipment.

“This is new for Clanton, so being able to be a part of something from the ground up … being a part of building something new that is going to be bigger than all of us — that’s pretty exciting,” Johnson said.

Each paramedic will work a different 24-hour shift at Station One downtown, so the start dates will be spread across Dec. 2-4.

“It is good to have someone here all the time,” Clanton Fire Chief David Driver said. “We are averaging 8-10 calls a day.”

About 80% of these are medical or a car accident, Driver said.

The RPS ambulance that the paramedics will be using had been expected Jan. 1, but it could come mid-December.

“It is looking like it will be here before the original date that we set,” Driver said. “We just don’t know how long before.”

Until then, the department already has the rescue and medical equipment that the paramedics will need.

The fire department remains a volunteer fire department, but discussion has started on what it would take to become a full-time fire department or at least have fire personnel at one station full-time.