N.Ky. cities getting paramedics

LUDLOW, Ky. - Six cities in Northern Kentucky are now providing their own paramedics. A contract ended on Sept. 30 with a private company that supplied paramedics and the advanced life support.

All cities had emergency medical technicians (EMT) or basic life support available on their fire department ambulances. According to Ludlow Fire Department's, Chief Rob Dreyer, there was an understanding among the cities that if one municipality did not continue the contract that none of the others would either.

Training is the difference between EMTs and paramedics. Paramedics may administer drugs, use a heart monitor, defibrillator, and intravenous bags to help patients. The difference between having a contracted company and a fire department employee responding to an emergency, according to Dreyer, is 10 minutes.  Ludlow's first responders try to get to a scene in less than four minutes, but the private company could have taken up to 14 minutes during life and death situations.

That is a story life long Ludlow resident and newly hired Ludlow paramedic, Heather Ladanyi, relates to personally and professionally.

"My grandmother had a stroke," said Ladanyi. "It's a volunteer department here. There wasn't anybody available at the time to go get her."

Her grandmother recovered, and the experience called Ladanyi to action, because of her family history.

"I grew up in this fire house," said Ladanyi. "My dad was an EMT. My uncle was an EMT and past chief of this firehouse."

It was only fitting that she took classes and became a certified EMT in 2000.  After six years, she looked to advance her volunteering into a career and sought out more training to become a paramedic.  In 2006, she received her certification and had been working in Walton, Ky. before the Ludlow Fire Department brought her on as a full-time employee.

"I figured I could make a difference."

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