Prince George's County is expanding its fire department's paramedic program to include two new mobile intensive care units in Clinton and Landover Hills, according to an announcement by County Executive Parris Glendening.
"With the addition of these two new units, service now will be provided to 125,000 county residents who previously were not served by prehospital advanced life support systems," Glendening said.
County paramedic units already operating in Brentwood, Silver Hill, Laurel and Bowie offer protection to half of the county's population, county officials said.
The new Clinton unit began operating last week, serving 44,000 residents of Clinton, Camp Springs, Cheltenham, Northern Brandywine and surrounding areas in southern Prince George's County.
The Landover Hills unit, which will serve about 81,000 residents in the communities of New Carrollton, Lanham, Seabrook, Kentland, Palmer Park and Cheverly, is to begin operating Jan. 28.
The units, under physician control, are to be sent to critical care calls such as heart attacks, auto accidents with serious injuries, reports of trouble breathing, violent assaults, train, plane and bus disasters and multiple-alarm building fires.
The units carry life support equipment that is more sophisticated than basic ambulance equipment.
Glendening said that "recognizing we are at the halfway point toward achieving our goal of 12 paramedic units, and that there are no assurances for permanent funding for additional units in the future, we have carefully analyzed the placement of these two units."
Consideration was given to the population density, location of critical care incidents, the workload on current paramedic units and the need to improve response times. "By placing units in Clinton and Landover Hills, we will serve the greatest number of county residents and reduce response times," Glendening said.