LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The St. Matthews Fire Protection District launched its own Emergency Medical Services to respond more quickly to their residents and step in to assist Louisville Metro Emergency Services.
"There's a lot of activity here in the whole city and county," EMS Chief Mike Riordan said.
Metro Louisville EMS has been slammed with overdose runs in 2017. In January, EMS responded to 695 overdose calls, up 33 percent from the previous year. In February that number spiked to 869 overdose runs. That was more than 30 each day.
In February, St. Matthews first responders made 571 runs; proving the new services are in demand from the city.
>> GET OUR APP: Apple | Android
"Since the start of this year we've had about 30 overdose runs," Riordan said, "which doesn't sound like that many but you're talking in the St. Matthews area. You add that with everything Metro's doing; it's a significant problem here."
To help, St. Matthews Fire and Rescue has been jumping in to help handle calls in Metro Louisville.
"We're trying to be good neighbors and help out," Riordan said, "we've made a number of runs in Metro Louisville some pretty far away. We've made it as far south as Dixie Highway near the Gene Snyder Freeway and as far West as 28th Street."
The team is running two ambulances with high tech equipment.
"We have state of the art equipment, we're the first ones with Ferno iNX Stretcher," Riordan said.
WATCH: Kasey Cunningham's report
The Ferno iNX stretcher cost $34,000 and is designed to lift 700 pounds and navigate through tight spaces. The stretcher doesn't just help patients, but the medics too.