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Old 08-25-2010, 07:47 AM   #1
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Fire Trucks at medical scene

When i look at series like paramedics, I see even by a "chestpain" call a fire truck at the scene. Here (in the Netherlands) a fire truck only responds to medical calls when there is a resuscitation gong on.
In the cities with professional fire fighters the crew drives out at each of these calls. In the low-residental areas were there are only voluntairy fire fighters the fire department and police only get's a call when there are no ambulances within 10 minutes of the call. They respond with CPR and AED (nothing more).
Every other medical call (no matter what urgent) is responded by the ambulance only.

How does this work in U.S.A.? Is there always an fire truck responding, no matter what call of medical aid? Or is there a difference between voluntairy and professional fire departments?
And who pais the bill of the Fire Dept. sending this truck? Or is this organized by the authorities?

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Old 08-25-2010, 07:58 AM   #2
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Depends on where you are in the USA. In my area no fire response unless we request them to help lift a patient or if needed to cut a patient out of a car. In other areas the fire depts respond to all EMS calls so they can claim they had a lot of calls when in fact they were not needed 99% of the time they responded. This allows them to ask for more money. That is the reason the fire service in the USA keeps trying to take over EMS so they can get more funds. When you factor in how many runs are EMS and how many are fire it should be EMS taking over fire, but instead fire takes over EMS and in many cases it gets neglected while the fire department buys new trucks that they don't need.

OK so short answer depends on where you are in the USA.
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Originally Posted by MMiz View Post
7:11 PM on December 9, 2012. A date which will live in infamy. ffemt8978 agrees with medic417.
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:01 AM   #3
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What you have to remember is that a lot of EMS in the US is provided by the Fire Department. It is the policy (so I was told in 1993) of the IAFF/IAFC to actively seek out and take over EMS wherever possible.

The Fire Service here is totally seperate from Ambulance but they do show up to cut people out of cars or other funny spots on occasion.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:20 PM   #4
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The FFs are more community based in my area, so they can often get onscene more quickly than EMS, although EMS has very short response times. All FFs are either FRs or EMTs, so they can patch up and do basic treatment before EMS arrives. I think it's a good relationship here. On full emergency calls (no matter what they turn out to be) they are there to lend a hand, and will disappear just as quickly if they aren't needed. I get somewhat jealous when I see the FFs running around in shorts when I'm stuck in black ems pants all day.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:31 PM   #5
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For every diabetic, we have 1 truck with a charged line ready, just in case the guy need sugar.
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Old 08-25-2010, 01:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by MrBrown View Post
What you have to remember is that a lot of EMS in the US is provided by the Fire Department.

In Fort Worth, the calls that have more of a chance of being life/limp threatening get a fire response along with the ambulance. On calls that are just a sick person, it's just an ambulance.

Most often, the moment the ambulance arrives, the Paramedic sends the engine back home, as most FD engines in Ft Worth only have EMTs.

Go to Dallas, and most get dual engine/fire response because not only are all FFs also medics, but it's fire-based EMS.
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:00 PM   #7
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I work Private EMS. In the main city I respond in, the full time FD rolls for everything. They are a non transporting ALS units with 2 paramedics (we call em Echo units around here).
If it is an EMS only call I would say they are helpful 40% of the time, getting IV's, drawing up Rx, getting quality Hx from family, etc...

If I had to chose to have FD respond to all or none, I would chose all, as long as they are ALS.

The best situation would be having FD only roll on high priority runs.

Also work POC Fire that transports ALS, and have to say it is a much smoother operation.

Last edited by 82-Alpha599; 08-25-2010 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:07 PM   #8
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in my area, EMS is provided 100% by the Fire department. the paramedics are on the fire engines and ambulances only have EMT's (with some exceptions). we will normally have 2-4 paramedics on every call, and it will be downgraded as needed. it is a system that works if utilized correctly, it is a broken system if not.
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:25 PM   #9
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I did my schooling in Savannah and I didn't even see FD on a rollover in one of the most boring non-eventful places in the Savannah area. Infact when EMS needed a hand in chest compressions we always had a cop doing the pumping. When I did my clinical in Atlanta I was shocked at how Fire responded to almost everything. And most FFs I saw were EMT or Paramedic qualified which I enjoyed. Nothing like having a few extra hands to lug big Bertha around.

But if I had to have my choice between PD and FD on scene, I'd much rather have PD on scene. They'll do the grunt work and when people get testy they can break the taser out.
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:08 PM   #10
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Our fire department does both fire and ems, we rotate duties regularly, we have four als ambulances(transporting) and 5 als engines, they are staffed with paramedics, our engines are sent on potentia "serious medical" calls ie chest pain stroke dib etc, for the extra hands for a 12 lead iv start etc, they carry the same medical equipment as the ambulances except the stretcher. they will also respond if the rescue for that station is on another call with the idea that we have an average response time with a full als crew in less than 4 minutes while the ambulance coming across the city may take a few minutes.
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