IOP Fire and Rescue to Launch Paramedic Program

The City of Isle of Palms is working towards the implementation of a Paramedic Program this summer through Isle of Palms Fire and Rescue to improve medical response and provide advanced life support. Our staff, administration and firefighter paramedics have been working with partner agencies to ensure we build and maintain a gold-standard level of medical care in the prehospital environment. Since most of the fire department's calls are medical, the department aims to provide early intervention with advanced life support procedures to treat patients at the highest possible level of pre-hospital care.

To serve residents and visitors swiftly and effectively the Department will utilize the talents, skill set and experience of Isle of Palms firefighter-paramedics to provide an elite level of patient care. The department utilizes the expertise of local healthcare professionals, Dr. Christine Carr from the Medical University of South Carolina, (MUSC) and Dr. John Sorrell from Roper St. Francis, as they provide medical direction, leadership and oversight for the Paramedic Program.

Both medical directors work alongside Isle of Palms Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief of Training, Brian Tuohy, and firefighter paramedics to develop supportive and challenging continuing education for our first responders to meet best practices and standards in medical education. Our partner agencies at Charleston County EMS and the Town of Mount Pleasant Fire Department have supported the department as it prepares to deliver an advanced level of medical care to our visitors and residents.

Dr. John Sorrell, Roper St. Francis medical director, has 35 years of experience as an emergency physician and over 25 years of experience as an EMS medical director. He provides continuing education for Isle of Palms Fire and Rescue's Paramedic Program. He spoke about the importance of having personnel who can provide emergency care to those in need.

"With the Paramedic Program, IOP Fire and Rescue will be able to provide advanced life support services to our citizens and visitors, said Sorrell. Because they will be stationed on the island, our firefighter-paramedics will be able to respond quickly to provide life-saving measures to the sick and injured," he continued.

Isle of Palms Fire and Rescue's fire chief and paramedic, Craig Oliverius, expressed how working with medical professionals helps the team maintain an elevated standard of care.

"We serve all ages on the island and treat time-sensitive cases of allergic reactions, cardiac complications and more," said Oliverius. We appreciate our partnership with medical professionals, as they allow us to enhance our knowledge and skills to better serve our community."

Oliverius noted that Dr. Carr’s leadership as medical director for Isle of Palms Fire and Rescue and clinical experience in emergency medicine at MUSC, coupled with Dr. Sorrell's teaching and support will be instrumental in the quality of care that will be delivered by the island's firefighter-paramedics. Additionally, he emphasized that the duo is a strong team that will provide a solid foundation for a resilient and successful non-transport advanced life support service for the city.

The department is still seeking firefighter-paramedic applications. For more information, view City Employment Opportunities.