Fire Department Provided Ambulance Service

Bulldog

Bulldog
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Apr 16, 2008
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Here’s a couple links on new videos about the ‘beef’ in Pittsburgh.
Why in the world do not they just emerge the 2 agencies? That is the most ridiculous I have ever seen, especially the medical servers having the boat!
 

Lebby

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Feb 27, 2015
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Why in the world do not they just emerge the 2 agencies? That is the most ridiculous I have ever seen, especially the medical servers having the boat!
Their EMS is considered one of the best in the nation, if anything was to change perhaps transferring rescue services over to fire.
 

entropychaser

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Jun 27, 2017
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1) The Bureau of Fire has always been the poor stepchild in Pittsburgh.

2) The previously mentioned Dr. Peter Safar finished his career on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh Medical School .
 
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Bulldog

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Their EMS is considered one of the best in the nation, if anything was to change perhaps transferring rescue services over to fire.
That would be an okay resolution but allowing them both to have duplicate equipment, training, etc. is utterly ridiculous especially when you consider the amount of financial resources involved.
 

nfd2004

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For many small towns throughout the country that are NOT on a regional or county wide system, and rely totally on volunteer firefighter/emt's, it has become difficult to sometimes recruit and retain members who are both Firefighters, as well as EMTs

That is certainly understandable today with the required Firefighter, as well as the EMT basic training level requirements. Plus the required amount of re-certification involved later on.
It takes hours of training and hours away from the family.

It certainly takes a certain kind of individual, as well as family members who are willing to understand that.
It's not everybody who can leave their family members at 3 am to respond to a person having chest pains, transport the patient to the hospital, often several miles away, fill out the required pass along information, drive back to the firehouse and restock the supplies used, THEN go to their full time job.

So how has many smaller/rural fire departments been able to deal with that.

They have started to hire part time or full time firefighter/EMT's

Some of those departments have hired firefighter/emt's to work full time during the Monday - Friday normal working hours.
Many will offer that job to dedicated members of the department first
Those departments may also have a group of volunteer members who might work on a part time basis to cover for those full timers when they are off during vacation, sick, etc.

Sometimes these smaller towns may hire retired career firefighters either on a full time or part time basis to give round the clock coverage. People who are already trained and qualified, and ready to step in for a small town with a group of dedicated volunteer members who can offer basic fire and ambulance coverage throughout the entire week regardless of time of day.

As I have seen, in the beginning there is of course some resistance.
But where some of these plans have been put to work, it has given these smaller towns, the "Best Of Both Worlds".
Most importantly a quick response to fires and medical calls, while maintaining a dedicated group of volunteer firefighters.

Some of these small towns in my area you probably never heard of but - "IT IS WORKING VERY WELL".
Places like; Town of Preston (population 4,600), Lisbon (population 4,200), Canterbury (population 5,100), Voluntown (population 2,500)

In all of these places, there is a private ambulance company that provides paramedic service and responds on all of their Advanced Life Support calls.
 

CFDMarshal

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There was no organized EMS is the state of Tennessee until the EMS act of 1972. Upon passage of the act, counties were authorized to form ambulances services. Many of Tennessee's 95 counties formed new county based agencies to provide BLS or ALS service. Many of the counties still operate in this manner with the exception of Shelby (Memphis) and Davidson (Nashville) which integrated the EMS with the FD's. However they are still single service where EMS only does EMS. Wilson County which is a rapidly growing area east of Nashville operates an integrated service of Fire/EMS as Wilson Emergency Management Agency and they provide transport for the entire county.

As our state grows and the need for emergency services increase, I can see further consolidation and expansion of service. The issue is getting enough employees and the willingness of the local governments to pay and minimize turnover. My county (Putnam) operates a county based EMS service which provides all transports, BLS and ALS including hospital to hospital transports. Certain EMS calls trigger a first responder dispatch that includes the county medic, City of Cookeville Fire, Putnam County Fire, Baxter, Monterey, Algood Fire departments or the Putnam County Rescue Squad which is a all volunteer service , depending on the location of the call you could have up to 3 agencies on the scene.

This is in no way a perfect system but currently provides an above average level of service.
 

Bulldog

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Another thing that is happening in some areas is use of students as firefighters and EMTs. This is especially prevalent in areas with a large university campus. They offer free room and board to the students if they operate it firefighters and/or EMTs when they are not at school. This is a very effective and reasonable cost solution for many departments.
 

nfd2004

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Fire and Police Dispatching is also changing.
Many dispatch centers are no longer dispatching for their own cities or towns but are now a part of a regional or county based dispatch center.
Here in the northeast, regional or county wide dispatching services are generally a new thing.

One such regional dispatch center opened in March, 2022, called; "Fairfield County Regional Dispatch Center" (FCRD).
It opened up recently in Fairfield, Ct where now Westport, Ct, as well as New Canaan police, fire, and EMS 911 calls are received and dispatched.
Fairfield with a population of 62,000, Westport with a population of 28,000, and New Canaan, Ct with a population of 20,000, have been combined into this one dispatch center.
I've heard talk that the Town of Easton, may also join this center soon.

In addition, I recently learned that the Town of Bozrah, Ct (pop 2,500) has now hired Two full time firefighters to cover Monday - Friday days when the number of volunteer firefighters can be difficult to respond due to work schedules. The town also uses part time paid firefighters to cover when necessary
Members of the Bozrah Fire Dept also provides the BLS Ambulance Service within the town.
 

mack

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None of these career, volunteer, contract or combined systems are new. They have all been in towns and counties for decades. There are, however, more significant changes in our society, in medical and legal requirements, in technology and in budgets that influence EMS and firefighting solutions. Some of these specifically are: lack of individuals interested or physically capable of volunteering; liability concerns; state-required certifications; more expensive formal training; shift of population out of cities into suburbs and counties; improved communications systems; etc. We also have a population with significantly increased emergency needs: more homeless; more ODs; uncontrolled immigration without medical coverage; more obesity; more chronic diseases; COVID and pandemics; increasing numbers of elderly; drug use; etc. People need and expect better EMS systems. The demands and expectations continue to increase and will continue to do so - and the fire service will be expected to meet these needs - with paid, volunteer, contract, combined departments and organizations that are different due to city and town size and budgets.
 
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