Fire Department Provided Ambulance Service

Bulldog

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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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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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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.
 

Signal73

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THANK YOU to all who have contributed your stories of "Fire Department Provided Ambulance Services".

First let me add, "as we all know, Covid has made EMS much tougher over the last two years or so".

As mentioned in the first post, MOST Connecticut Career Fire Departments throughout the state DO NOT Provide Fire Department Ambulance Service.
Instead most rely on a Private Contract Services such as American Medical Response, aka AMR, Nelson Ambulance, or in my area, American Ambulance, for transporting patients to the hospital. Many of those private contract services also provide paramedic service as well.

There are a few Connecticut Fire Depts that DO provide ALS Medic service, but do NOT Transport
Such is the case in New Haven (Four Non Transport Units - ?) and nearby Hamden, Ct. (Two Units - ?)

One of the FEW Career Fire Depts that "DO" provide ambulance transportation is the NEW LONDON, CT Fire Dept
A small, but very active career department consisting of 3 Engines, 1 Ladder truck, 1 Battalion Chief, and 2 BLS ambulances.
New London Requires ALL Firefighters to be EMTs.
Each firefighter (excluding officers) rotates on the ambulance for a one year basis.
Each member of the department works their assigned shift during their one year ambulance duty and share with other members of that same shift during their yearly ambulance duty.
They also rotate as the Driver and Rider position during their one year ambulance duty.
There is also a small pay incentive during that time. I think about 5% more

Also - the ambulance personnel are used for fire duty.
The first due usually does forcible entry and searches.
The second due assist the Truck Co with ventilation if needed.
Otherwise they are used on the floor above.

After a member has 20 years on the job, they must still maintain their EMT status, BUT they are no longer required to be assigned on the ambulance rotation.

Last year (2021) the Ambulance called "A100", responded to 3,351 calls, and Ambulance, "A200" responded to 2,999 calls.

Within the City of New London is Lawrence & Memorial Hospital which is the primary hospital for New London and several other surrounding towns.
That hospital maintains a paramedic service of non-transport vehicles.

I believe there is "Medic 11", "Medic 12", "Medic 13 - which I believe used for special events", and "Medic 14".
On the West Side of the Thames River, L & M medics serve New London, Waterford, Old Lyme, and East Lyme.
On the East Side of the Thames River, L & M medics serve Groton, Stonington, North Stonington, and part of Ledyard.

Let me also add that I've read the previous replies here.
I think it is certainly interesting to hear how different places around the country provide ambulance or non-transport EMS around the country.
I hope that our members will continue to contribute telling us how it works where they are from.
Whether it be "Fire Department Provided Ambulance Service" or even "Non Transport EMS services".

Many years ago, as a newly hired firefighter, I remember NO FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONSE To Medical Calls.
Just prior to that, many of us might remember the popular TV Series called; "Emergency" ( I know our member "johnny gage", Dan P., remembers it)
It was that show that changed the fire service forever. As we know, EMS runs now account for Most fire dept activity in most departments.

I also remember as a young firefighter reading an article in one of the fire service related magazines talking about that subject.
That article pointed out;
"If a piece of fire apparatus can respond to a trash can on fire, then why couldn't they respond to a person having a life threatening heart attack or other life threatening medical emergency".

The article also pointed out that firefighters are trained to deal with various emergencies as part of their job.
That's where I work. We also have Access Ambulance they provide down the Norwalk-Greenwich Area

New Haven only has 3 ALS non transport units

Hamden 2 also East Haven doesn't transport but somewhere like Branford has 2 ALS Ambulances staffed 2 hours as well as a ALS Engine & Light Rescue. They always have from 0800-2400 ALS or some times BLS Units staffed. As well as 1-2 Ambulances they can be staffed with call in crews

Sorry per usual im late to the party
 

entropychaser

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Ambulance: noun, A special vehicle for transporting ill or injured people to a hospital. From the 18th century French word meaning "an itinerant field hospital"'
 

memorymaster

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From what I understand, although not gospel truth, the term was coined by P.D. in that a person(s) needed transportation to a hospital. That's what I was told many years ago and the term still exists within NYPD, FDNYEMS and FDNY.
 

memorymaster

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it should be updated to TAXI
Since you mentioned Taxi, there was the "911 Taxi." It seemed that in the wee hours of the morning, especially weekends, some misguided individuals would disembark from the Staten Island ferry in St. George. Transit bus service was sparse at these hours so the upstanding citizen would call 911 for an ambulance feigning some malady. When "the bus" arrived the "sick" person would say what hospital they wished to be transported to i.e., the old St. Vincent's or Staten Island North on Seaview Avenue. (Their choice was based on which was closer to their destination.)
Upon arrival at the chosen tabernacle of healing, when the rear door to the "bus" would be opened they would hastily flee into the night never to be seen again. Hence, the "911 Taxi."
 

Lebby

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Since you mentioned Taxi, there was the "911 Taxi." It seemed that in the wee hours of the morning, especially weekends, some misguided individuals would disembark from the Staten Island ferry in St. George. Transit bus service was sparse at these hours so the upstanding citizen would call 911 for an ambulance feigning some malady. When "the bus" arrived the "sick" person would say what hospital they wished to be transported to i.e., the old St. Vincent's or Staten Island North on Seaview Avenue. (Their choice was based on which was closer to their destination.)
Upon arrival at the chosen tabernacle of healing, when the rear door to the "bus" would be opened they would hastily flee into the night never to be seen again. Hence, the "911 Taxi."
Sounds like Newark
 

STAjo

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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.
Here in Binghamton, SUNY Binghamton, (actually located next-door in Vestal), Harpur's Ferry Ambulance provides 24/7 EMS Response
for Students and Staff throughout Broome County When School is in session. They also provide some Mutual Aid Response locally. Established 1973.

https://harpursferry.org/about-us
 
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