LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– A new emergency vehicle is designed to provide better aid at the scene and help keep patients out of the hospital.

West Metro Fire Rescue’s new ambulance, the ARM, or Advanced Resource Medic, has special equipment to diagnose and treat more types of illnesses and injuries.

(credit: West Metro Fire Rescue)

Before this type of emergency vehicle, the only option was to transport patients to the emergency room. Now, if the patient’s symptoms allow it, first responders will be able to treat them where they are and help them recover at home.

(credit: West Metro Fire Rescue)

Inside the ARM, the crew will be able to treat a variety of ailments, like the flu, minor sprains and fractures, as well as skin infections. First responders will also be able to administer IV fluids and prescribe medications.

(credit: West Metro Fire Rescue)

The ARM is a lot cheaper than an ambulance ride and a trip to the emergency room. On average, an emergency room treatment costs around $2,000. If patients are uninsured, the cost of the ARM is a flat rate of $275, which includes medications, procedures and lab tests.

(credit: West Metro Fire Rescue)

“There are several ways that we can get called out to do a call and we have the ability to self assign ourselves to a call, based on the notes we receive from dispatch that it is an appropriate call for us. The other way, which is likely the more common way, will be that a call will come in via the traditional 911 system, a medic crew will be dispatched out and evaluate the patient as they normally do and then based on their assessment, decide whether or not that patient needs criteria for the ARM car to come in and provide definitive care,” said nurse practitioner Drew Dawkins with Dispatch Health.

(credit: West Metro Fire Rescue)

West Metro says the ARM will take some of the burden off overwhelmed doctors and nurses. The car was put into service on Monday.

(credit: West Metro Fire Rescue)

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