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Question For The Firefighters


BOB47

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Just curious why when you call 911 for a heart attack or some other physical problem do they always send the paramedics and a firetruck? I understand the paramedics, but why a firetruck? Recently we had to call 911 for my mother-in-law and we ended up with 8 people responding. Seems like overkill to me. Is this standard operating procedure most places or just in my area? Not complaining, better too many than not enough. Just curious.

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I know at my firehouse we do not have an ambulance so if there is a call in our area for a sick person, heart attack or whatever the case may be we run our firetruck because we are all first responders or emt's and we do patient care until the ambulance arrives. Also if the closest ambulance is responding from out of there normal area for some reason they will send a fire truck also to do patient care or assesment. And then if there is alot of stairs or the patient might be heavy set they send more help usually a firetruck for manpower so no one hurts themselves.

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It depends on the department your dealing with. I know for Phoenix we have our own ambulances so depending on the call we either send a BLS(basic life support) truck or ALS(advanced life support) truck. The difference in the two trucks is BLS only has one paramedic on board and the ALS has two. When we get to the patient we determine if we need to transport him or her and if so then we call our ambulance to come get them. This is for a basic call, for say a bad car crash or a big fire the ambulances will be dispatched just for precaution. With other departments many don't have their own ambulances so a private company deals with it. The 911 dispatcher will send the ambulance company as well as a fire truck for the city.

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Depends on what the department is like, the area. Example, in town, the city has a paid FD, but hires out to a priviately owned EMS company, so the City sends both (the priviately owned can go on strike, what not, they are not federally controlled). If your out in a volunteer protection area, depends on man power, or one department may not transport, and needs another to give them mutial aide for it. Also, we send and ask for everything we can get for a code.

 

Here in Ohio, an the difference between ALS and BLS is advanced has a EMT-Paramedic on board (with the proper equipment and drugs, of course) and BLS only has a crew of EMT-Intermidate and/or EMT-Basic. Required to have two state certified EMT's on the truck to transport anyone.

 

On our department, you're going to get anywhere between 0 - 20 people, just a roll of the dice.

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It more or less is a first responder type deal. Instead of delaying care by waiting for an ambulance, in many places like NYC they send whats called a CFR(certified first responder) engine, which will start patient care before the ambulance arrives. Out here on LI where I am, some fire departments do not run ambulances, so they send both the covering ambulance corps. and fire department.....whoever gets there first begins care, and if the ambulance crew is on scene already the FD lends a helping hand. In my fire district, we run our own ambulances, so most EMS runs will not cause a fire engine to show up unless it was requested(lift assist etc). We have a paid Paramedic on duty 24/7/365 that is a first responder who begins care prior to the ambulances arrival.

 

:chevy:

Edited by Fireman31 (see edit history)
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This all depends what part of the country you live in. Here in South Florida, we are all paid departments (no volunteers). However, in mostly every other state excluding some places, everyone else is volunteer. I believe like 77% of the U.S. is a volunteer fire dept (anyone know for sure?) Our depts have fire engines as well as rescues (ambulances) because we are a "Fire-Rescue" dept. So if you call 911 down here, you are getting a rescue with 2-3 paramedics depending on what city and their protocalls. Our depts SOP for a code blue or heart attack is automaticly 1 rescue (2 paramedics , 1 EMT) and an engine (mostly all paramedics on a fire engine as well) for manpower. We are all required to hold state and national certs (Firefighter l & ll, EMT, Paramedic) before we can even take an interview to get hired. Therefore we dont have to call an outside agency to run calls, we are all firefighter/paramedics on every truck (rescues and engines). In your neck of the woods, they run very differently than we do down here with a Fire dept for just fire related and accidents etc and a seperate agency for medical. May sound a little confusing to you but I tried to break it down as best I could.

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Thanks for all the responses guys. So, basically it's for manpower, which was the only logical conclusion I could come up with. Still seems a little odd to have a fire truck respond to a medical problem. Plus both come from the same station at the same time. We have our own fire dept. No volunteers. (That I know of). I've never seen an outside private ambulance co. around here except for transport purposes. Hospital to hospital or nursing home etc. Thanks again. Just one of those questions I've always wondered about.

 

FWIW--Mother-in-law did not have a heart attack. Just panicked over some chest pain caused by pnuemonia.

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I believe like 77% of the U.S. is a volunteer fire dept (anyone know for sure?)

 

I believe that the correct figure is 70% volunteer, but then again I hear somewhere between 70% and 80% on a regular basis from people. :chevy:

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