On Monday, January 8, 2018, Los Angeles County Fourth District Supervisor Janice Hahn held a press conference and ribbon-cutting at Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) Fire Station 30 in Cerritos to launch the Mobile Stroke Unit (MSU) in the southeastern region of the county.
The MSU is not your average ambulance. It is equipped with medication and a computerized axial tomography (CAT) scanner and staffed by a team of UCLA medical professionals that will diagnose and treat stroke victims. The MSU was developed to meet the urgent and specialized needs of stroke victims in the field and in turn free LACoFD firefighters to respond to other incoming emergencies.
“Technology like this can prevent some of those debilitating effects on our stroke victims, not only for the patient themselves but for their family,” said Supervisor Hahn. “It is my hope that this Mobile Stroke Unit will be our first responder’s strongest defense for stroke victims in our community, preventing paralysis, memory loss, brain damage and even death.”
According to LACoFD Medical Director Dr. Clayton Kazan, the Department used an internal data analysis to determine which region the MSU would best serve based of the highest number of stroke victims historically. Once the service location was determined, LACoFD Division 4 collaborated with Supervisor Hahn’s Fourth District cities to communicate the overall plan for the MSU Pilot Project. From the Emergency Medical Services Bureau to East Region Operations, many personnel throughout LACoFD worked tirelessly to develop training, implement dispatch processes and prepare for the housing and power needs of the ambulance.
The MSU is operated by the UCLA Medical Center and funded by the Arlene and Henry Gluck Foundation and the County of Los Angeles. It is the first of its kind on the West Coast and will serve the communities of Cerritos, Artesia, Bellflower, Lakewood, Paramount, Signal Hill, Hawaiian Gardens, Norwalk and La Mirada.