RICHMOND (AP) — Members of the Richmond Fire Department in Maine are training to render a higher level of medical aid above basic first aid and CPR.

Fire Chief Matt Roberge says the training for the department will be complete by early next year and will supplement the emergency services already provided by Gardiner Ambulance. The Kennebec Journal reports regional service Gardiner covers about nine towns, including Richmond.

Roberge says having first responders in the town will speed up response times. He says Gardiner has great response times, but the department wants to provide extra assistance when needed.

Richmond’s contract with Gardiner Ambulance will not be affected by this change. A straw vote showed overwhelming support for the idea of EMS training for firefighters at a town meeting in June.

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