COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – Columbia County Fire Rescue has some new life-saving equipment, and it’s the only local agency that has it.

It has equipped three rescue trucks and two administrative vehicles with the UE Video Laryngoscope.

If a patient has a blocked or damaged airway, the paramedics can use these new machines.

“If we do come to someone that needs an airway, a blocked air way, damaged airway, or that’s not breathing at all, we want to do that intervention and have a 100% success rate the first time,” said Lt. Jamarius Tate, the EMS training coordinator for CCFR. “And that’s what that equipment has done for us.”

They can record video, improve the view of airways and increase the first time intubation success rate.

“When you have someone that has a severe allergic reaction, they may not have the ability to breathe later, so we have ensured that we can handle that,” Lt. Tate said. “Also on cardiac arrest, someone that is not breathing at all, we can handle that very very quickly and efficiently with this piece of equipment.”

Each scope costs about $1,500.

“These items were actually budgeted for,” Lt. Tate said. “This is something that our administration has been wanting to do and take that care up to the next level, so they budgeted for it.”

This is something the department has been wanting to implement since 2020.

“During that time, we were providing care up to the EMT level which is very lower-level care, still saving lives and things like that,” Lt. Tate said. “But, we wanted to improve that by taking our care from the EMT level to the paramedic level to make sure if they were on scene, they can provide the care that they need.”

Lt. Tate said he wants the department to keep progressing, and he hopes to get more equipment like this in the future.