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Rescue or Medic

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  • Rescue or Medic

    Just wondering what everyone thinks. I hear the term "Rescue" applied to both firefighting rescue companies as well as to ambulances.
    Do you think ambulances should be called Rescue or Medic? I like Medic, it avoids any confusion.

  • #2
    I agree, The term "Rescue" implies that you have the ability/equipment to remove a person from a bad stiuation, not just treat them.

    I have heard stories, I don't know if they are valid, about ambulance companies who have been forced to remove "RESCUE" from their rigs for that very reason.


    • #3
      In a majority of Rhode Island cities and towns, there is no seperation of EMS and the Fire Service. Some rural towns have ambulance companies (at least one that I know for sure of, possibly others too), but most EMS is provided by the city/town fire department (almost always at the ALS level, btw). The ambulances for such departments are called Rescues. If those same departments also run a "heavy rescue" or "squad," company, it is most often referred to as a "Special Hazards" unit here.


      • #4
        Around here a rescue is an apparatus equipped to do specialized tasks such as extrication. A medic is a term used strictly for ambulances.

        When the defecation hits the oscillation I'll be there.


        • #5
          The answer you will get all depends on what area of the country you are in. Where I am, an ambulance is an ambulance. We do not use plain english, we use unit numbers with the 3rd numeral replaced by a letter "B"-BLS, "A"-ALS, "medic"-Flycar, that is usually said phonetically (11Bravo1) 11Alpha1, 22Medic1. The first 2 numbers are the dept/agency, and the last number is what unit. Then where I lived and served down south a Rescue was a BLS ambulance, a medic was a ALS vehicle, and a Squad was a "Heavy Rescue." Right, or Wrong it worked for them. To me everyone's opinion is going to be based on where they live, what their opinion is on Fire and/or EMS. By dictionary definition Rescue means "to free or save from danger, imprisonment, evil, etc." Sure this leaves another debate open like I said to personal interpretation. But I have to ask, does it really matter? While I understand what truckman is saying about what could be implied. But does the general public really care? All they know is when they call 911, whatever problem they have, usually has a proper piece of equipment sent.

          THe above is my opinion only and doesn't reflect that of any dept/agency I work for, deal with, or am a member of.


          • #6
            A "Rescue Company" is a gigantic toolbox on wheels with 6 MacGuyver's on board (Remember the TV show from the early 90's- the guy that could do anything with nothing???) Rescue Company firefighters should be the Top Guns....The elite....The best of the best.

            An old FDNY division chief once told me...."When civilians are in trouble, they call the Fire Department. When the Fire Department is in trouble, they call RESCUE."

            Ambulances, medic units, whatever you call them....should be seen and not heard. And they MOST CERTAINLY should not be called a Rescue.

            "Loyalty above all else, except honor."


            • #7
              Army - did you really just say that ambulances should be seen and not heard?

              You really must be in the army.



              • #8
                Hmm...wierd timing. I was out yesterday driving and saw a local private ambulance that I had seen a dozen times or more. But this time something was different...the words "Rescue Medic" were written across the front hood and the sides. And I can tell you just from looking at it that this was nothing more than a Wheeled Coach ambulance. I don't see those guys doing any extrications. A rescue removes em, a medic moves em. That's just the way I see it.

                "When the bell goes ding-ding, its time to get on the woo-woo."
                "Dusting desire - starting to learn. Walking through fire with out a burn..."
                Youngstown Fire Department


                • #9
                  I must say I am very suprised at Army's comment an ambulance should be "seen and not heard" would be very interested in what he meant! Not wanting to cause a brawl I will end there. In my area, there are many "ambulance" companies who do all their own "rescue" and carry/perform among other things: Hydraulic rescue tools, high angle rescue, confined space rescue, vehicle extrication,ice water rescue search/rescue and the list could go on. So most ambulance services around here are called rescue squads!!! So it just depends on where you are as to what there called. I dont think you can just label all ambulance's/rescue squads nation wide based on what you call'em in your territory. Then do different tasks in different places.

                  Just my two cents'
                  Jamie, proud rescue squad/ambulance member


                  • #10
                    In the part of Vermont where I am from the boys (or girls) with the tools are called "Heavy Rescue" or Heavy for short. While those who do the transport are called "Rescue".


                    • #11
                      Hmmm, that's funny when I get in trouble, I call the Fast TRUCK. As far as the "ELITE" comment. We all should be the elite. After all we all know the rescue companies are glorified TRUCKIE's.

                      I'm not gonna touch the seen and not heard comment. Let's not forget who may need a ride in that ambulance on the next alarm. Not to mention those who have FD based EMS systems, even the federal depts.

                      The above is my opinion only and doesn't reflect that of any dept/agency I work for, deal with, or am a member of.


                      • #12
                        We've got a little of both!!!!

                        We are about to recieve a medium-duty freightliner chasis ambulance, which will have 2 medics on it, to first respond to all medical calls with private EMS (long story), but also carries SCBA's and a power hawk tool as well as fire related equipment. We call it the "RESCUELANCE". Like I said, long story.


                        • #13
                          Medic's in my area are Paramedic Intercepts.

                          Rescue 1xx are light rescues (basically first responder vehicles like Suburbans);

                          Rescue 3xx are medium rescues -- generally no or not many hydraulic tools, etc

                          Rescue 4xx are heavy rescues with full size sets of hydraulic tools, etc.

                          Rescues 5xx, 6xx, 7xx are Ambulances.


                          • #14
                            I agree that the terms vary depending upon which part of the country you're in.

                            I've seen ambulances called rescue squads to differentiate them from ambulances used for only interfacility transports, so the public will call 911 in an emergency, rather than phoning a non-emergency transport service.

                            I've also seen ambulance services providing full rescue capabilities, as the areas they serve have only small volunteer fire depts. where the only requirement to be a member is a pulse, and good rescue service would be non-exsistant if they didn't.

                            It's sorta like, is it a water tanker, or water tender? Different descriptions for the same vehicle depending where you are.


                            • #15
                              In my department we call our BLS units ambulances, ALS units medics, and our Heavy Rescue the Rescue Squad. I have however seen EMS apparatus marked Rescue. In my opinion it really isn't a big deal what the apparatus says, as long as everyone knows what their job is, that works for me. It just depends on where you come from.


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