Mon Health EMS offers firefighters on-scene medial services, food, during blaze

MORGANTOWN — Sunday morning firefighters from 11 departments battled for about seven hours to defeat a blaze that claimed two businesses on the Mileground and Mon Health EMS was on scene to help take care of them.

The fire destroyed The Blue Parrot Cabaret and Model Cleaners.

Anytime there is a fire Mon Health EMS is on scene to help care for firefighters, Brian LaRue, assistant shift supervisor said. The support is part of the firefighter rehabilitation and support program.

“They provide an important service,” Morgantown Fire Chief Mark Caravasos said.

The program sets up heaters or cooling fans depending on the weather. LaRue said Sunday the crew used space heaters.

The medics check on the firefighters from time-to-time and watch for weather-related injuries and check their carbon monoxide levels, he said.

Sunday the biggest concerns were cold-related injuries. LaRue explained that the freezing weather combined with spraying water on the fire put the firefighters at risk of frostbite.

Caravasos said firefighters who exit a burning structure have to go see the medics.

“It’s nice to have that medical expertise there,” Caravasos said.

He said having an ambulance on scene allows for expedited treatment of injuries sustained by firefighters or for victims.

LaRue also organized nourishment for the firefighters on Sunday. He said McDonald’s in Suncrest Towne Centre donated 20 sandwiches, the Sheetz on Chestnut Ridge Road donated another 20 sandwiches and water and Starbucks on Donahue Drive donated four cartons of coffee.

Sunday’s effort was larger than a typical fire, LaRue said. A normal fire has about 15 firefighters while Sunday’s had more than 40, he said.

In total, 6 medics from Mon Health EMS were on scene, he said.

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