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Medic units at non-structure fires?

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  • Medic units at non-structure fires?

    In our town, the Fire and EMS are 2 seperate departments, but respond together on all calls. Currently the EMS is changing
    the response guidelines for EMS response on fire calls with
    much heated debate from the Fire Department.

    Responds to Structure Fires, Car Fires and all rescues.

    Does not respond to Illegal burns, gas spills (small), and grass fires that do not involve mutual aid fire companies.

    The EMS is looking to reduce the possiblities of public
    endangerment by not having POV's responding to station and the medic responding on these types of calls. This fire department sends 2 Engines, 2 Tankers, 1 grass fighter and a handful of POV's to ILLEGAL BURNS ????? We feel that enough is endangering the public.

    And as always, the EMS is available when needed should a situation change.


  • #2
    We dont send an ambulance to any fire calls unless requested or during 2nd alarm and above calls...obviusly EMS goes to MVA and such.

    Are you saying your dept sends 2E, 2T, and a brush truck to all calls....cant wait to see the lawsuit


    • #3
      I'm curious.
      What would be the legal basis or arugment for a lawsuit engine23?


      • #4
        ok, down here we have a seperate service doing ambulance work, we do not get them rolled for a car fire or scrub fire, unless it was reported people involved.

        They will roll for injury MVA's or structure fires where People Trapped is called, or the OIC elects to have them standby for any incident.

        I noted you said "respond together on all calls", do you mean the FD rolls to EMS calls as well?

        And yes, the overkill on the illegal burn calls is a wee bit over the top, unless you are just wanting to give everybody some training.
        Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
        Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.


        • #5
          ** The FD does not respond to any EMS runs unless they are requested.

          ** Both departments are non-profit volunteer agencies operated by Property Tax dollars.

          ** The Fire Department also sends 2 engines, 2 tankers, a rescue, grass truck, command car and multiple POV's to all auto accidents.
          ( the money they could save in fuel would be astonishing)
          We send 2 ALS units - NO POV's additional is requested.

          YES - our Auto Accident scenes are very congested. Big Safety issues.....


          • #6
            The EMS is looking to reduce the possiblities of public
            endangerment by not having POV's responding to station and the medic responding on these types of calls.


            No one says you have to drive lights & sirens.

            Hell, even going to a reported structure fire, if no one's been reported injured, why drive lights and sirens? So you can get there real quick and get trapped in by a supply line?

            This fire department sends 2 Engines, 2 Tankers, 1 grass fighter and a handful of POV's to ILLEGAL BURNS ????? We feel that enough is endangering the public.

            Again, unless your driving to endanger, how are you endangering?

            Sure it's a lot of apparatus, what's the harm? How many calls a year are they running? How many times do they actually get all the equipment on scene? (Not end up being held in quarters or staged by an arriving officer). What's the wildland fire dangers like in your area? By running those trucks, are they reducing how many POVs would otherwise show up? Do the trucks have crew cabs so they act effectively as a company when they show up?

            YES - our Auto Accident scenes are very congested. Big Safety issues.....

            That's not an issue of the response. It's an issue of scene management and apparatus placement. You have discpline in POV parking policies, you locate the apparatus logically on both sides to make a protective pocket around the scene, and you leave a couple spots nearby for the Troopers & Ambulances to park in.

            ( the money they could save in fuel would be astonishing)
            Oh puh-lease.

            Maybe they're some podunk backwards department...but then again, Sorry, but it really sounds like someone is just bitchin' about a rival service.

            You don't need to run automatically to outside type fires, provided the Fire Department is adequately equipped & staffed to handle EMS on scene -- they have EMTs, AEDs, and Epi-Pens and similiar equipment on their trucks. (No one ever had a heart attack or stepped in hornet's nest at a brush fire...) I'm a big supporter of brush trucks carrying First Responder level equipment -- when you get 5, 10 minutes off road and it's one of your own whose down you don't want to be waiting for that defib to be driven down to you.
            IACOJ Canine Officer


            • #7
              I'm with Dal on this.

              We also are separate EMS and FD, both volunteer. Normal response to any type of Fire call is 2 engines, a squirt, and a snorkle. Most calls the response is downgraded and vehicles are held at quarters. EMS responds to structures, mutual aid calls, co alarms, vehicle fires, and when special called. EMS handles extrication so they go to all MVA's, FD only goes when extrication takes place.

              I'm betting there is much more to this story.
              "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?


              • #8
                Our EMS and Fire are in the same department, same house, all that. They respond to everything, because as much as it would be nice to control the possibility of injuring people while FireFighters/EMT's are responding. We feel that having an ambulance respond regardless of the call keeps our FireFighters/EMT's/Officers safe, for without them we wouldnt have the ability to save the people. As well as the citizens we are out there to protect and save. Plus, regardless of who responds, it is a natural risk that is a regular occurance to the Fire Suppression/Emergency Medical Service fields.

                I can feel already that this topic is heated. I am only relaying the decisions my officers have made on this subject to you. So if you care to comment on some sort of problem you may have with me or my post, do it in a fair manner; beacuse we all know this thread will get shut down fast otherwise.


                • #9
                  What The Heck?......

                  This ain't a FD problem, nor is it a EMS problem. There is a much bigger story here, and we aren't hearing it. I think there is a inter-agency rivalry that is getting beyond sensible discussion. We operate everything by the Fire Department, so these type things don't happen to us. There is a lot to be said for operating all emergency services by one agency, cost is a huge factor, as in the duplication of many items common to both services. As far as EMS units on Fire Calls, An Ambulance and/or a medic unit are not routinely sent on all reported fires, but in practice there are from 1 to 3 showing up on most calls anyway. When a unit arriving on a Fire, reports a working Fire, a Medic unit and an Ambulance are dispatched, in addition to what is already on the road. Almost every Ambulance in the County is a 1999 or newer Freightliner, with a few older Ford F350s in reserve Counting Reserve units, there are about 70 ambulances in the County, and the only difference between ALS and BLS units is the crew training level, and some portable equipment and supplies, the Vehicles are the same. To address the liability comment, and you may quote me on this, "Bulls..t". What you are responding to is irrelevant, it's HOW you are responding that can cause a problem. Drive like you got some sense, and there is no problem. My advice to those who are always crying over liability issues is "Get on down the road, You are not needed in the Fire/Rescue service". I went to the Admiral David Farragut school of liability mitigation, "Damn the Torpedos....." Stay Safe....
                  Last edited by hwoods; 09-26-2003, 12:55 PM.
                  Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                  In memory of
                  Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                  Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                  IACOJ Budget Analyst

                  I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.



                  • #10
                    We have both a volunteer rescue squad ambulance service and paid EMS in the county. The volunteer squad gets dispatched to standby at all structure fires, as usually does the closest medic unit untill it is verified that there are no occupants or victims. Car fires get no ambulance unless the result of a MVA, others get one by request of the IC.

                    The EMS supervisor has an ambulance by himself (long story, basicly they cannot afford to staff it with 2 yet, so he gets it by himself and if he needs to transport he gets a firefighter/first responder or rescue squad memeber to drive him to the hospital) and if not dispatched elsewheer he will stand by at the fire untill we clear, and that ambulance has a cooler full of bottled water on ice for rehab.

                    It seems to work real well. Often the volunteer squad will show up anyway at vehicle and brush fires, simply because as the paid EMS expands they get fewer and fewer oppertunities to do anything.

                    No bitching or griping here, everyone seems to work really well together.


                    • #11
                      Since we have a fd based ambulance, a medic is tapped out on almost every call (not illegal backyard burns though! That's a single apparatus tapout only!). In my mind, brush fires can be just as dangerous as structure fires (at least around here). I was recently looking at the NIOSH site and I remember seeing a few deaths from MIs at brush/grass fires. I'd prefer to have the medic crew there just in case....
                      "The more we sweat in training, the less we bleed in battle."


                      • #12
                        In my Dept EMS does not respond to any fires unless they are requested by fire co's on scene, or unless there is a report of people trapped. I'm pretty sure they are dispatched to greater than one alarm fires as well. Our EMS are way too busy to make every fire call with us. The city would have to double or triple the number of EMS units for them to be able to keep up with that type of call volume. Going by last years stats, that would have meant another 63000 calls they would have had to respond to.

                        Got Crust?

                        We lucky few, ... we band of brothers


                        • #13
                          I havent read all the previous posts ,but we only run the medic units to all calls with the duty crew only from 8-4. After that it only rolls on working structures, as now all of our vehicles are ALS equipped.
                          IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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                          http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115


                          • #14
                            Our department sends medics to structure fires, but not the smaller things, unless that grass fire turns into a wildland fire and then we'll respond for rehab.
                            Lieutenant, EMT-II
                            Central Mat-Su Fire Department,
                            Wasilla AK


                            • #15
                              This thread was started to see how EMS responses are to Fire scenes from other FD's. The only heated subject on this is within the EMS side, some want to respond "hot" to everything, others feel that driving normal is good enough. No policy has been changed but is leaning towards responding to reported structure fires and driving without the bells and whistles to small incidents.

                              No other intent here.

                              Thanks for all replies, and for answering the poll



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