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Run the Fire Dept. on all MVAs w/ Injuries??

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  • Run the Fire Dept. on all MVAs w/ Injuries??

    I was wondering what you opinion is on running the Fire Department on all Car Accidents with injuries.Our 911 center used to page out only First Responders(responding in POV'S)and EMS to MVA till our First Responders rolled up on a car vs tree with the car on fire and patient entraped.By the time the Fire Dept was notified it was 12 minutes till a engine arrived and the patient had suffered severe burns and died. This possibly could have been prevented if Fire was paged when EMS was. Since then our Department has made it a policy for the 911 center to page Fire on all MVA's with injuries and especially entrapements.It has worked well so far to have the Engine with extra equipment on the scene and the Firefighters have been able to help a lot in various situations. I guess we think it's beter to have them there and not need them,than need them and not have them there. Know what I mean?? I have several people talk about why the FD shouldn't be on scene unless absolutely necessary. Please let me know yous views on this.



  • #2
    I believe fire/rescue should be paged w/ all mva's. That is our SOP and we have no problems with it.Like you said better to have them than to not have them when they are needed. Besides the fact we roll our engine with as many EMT's as possible they really come in handy when you need more EMS personnel.And the added Equipment is a major plus!!


    • #3
      Sounds to me like you may have some oldtimers on board that don't like the extra work. Why shouldn't the FD be on scene at an MVA with injuries? Can't think of a single reason for this question. However, think about why they should be:

      1) Usually a faster response.
      2) Bunked out personnel with the wet stuff.
      3) Probably have some degree of EMS training (in our dept., 100% do).
      4) Somebody needs to secure the vehicle(s), i.e., disconnect battery, contain haz-mat, tend to the uninjured (PRSs), be inside the vehicle during extrication (you can always tell who the medics are during extrication, they're the ones without the protective gear on!!!!!).
      5) BRTs usually have a lot more tools on them (and always have copious amounts of water).
      6) It is always nice to have an IC on scene.
      7) Lots of extra muscle!
      8) More than two people working towards the final goal.
      9) You fill in the rest, there is plenty reasons of why they should be there.

      Our dept. runs first response on all MVAs and the volunteers in our county do the same (except for delayed minors when PD is already on scene). We furnish both F and EMS. In town, that generally equates to care getting to the patient from 3-6 minutes before the box ever arrives, in the county, up to 20 minutes earlier.

      Personally, I think the citizens are being given a huge disservice by not responding, we are, after all, in the business of saving lives.


      Just my opinions, not my departments. If they are alike, it usually means somethin's gonna happen!


      • #4
        I fully support sending the Fire Department with the EMS on crash calls (although my department I think is the only one in the county that does not send an engine on crash calls in favor of a grass unit on steroids). Even on a non-injury accident, the vehicles involved in the crash have potential damage that could create a fire or environmental hazard that the EMS unit is not equipped to handle. This fact and the extra hands to assist with scene control are more than enough reason to justify the dual response.

        Richard Nester
        Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.


        • #5
          I am a Full Time EMT in my hometown as well as in Madison, Wi. - and I am a volunteer Firefighter in my hometown as well. We have run into the question around here numerous times, yet the answer always remains the same. Plain and simple, the State of Wisconsin has made it law that there must be FD on scene of an accident call, with 200 GPM available on a charged line, with firefighters in SCBA, and they must be "On the Bottle" at the time. (Breathing tank air) Now, since the fire department has all of the awesome extrication tools, this only makes perfect sense anyway. We also have a state law that requires us (the Fire Department) to have EMS on scene of fires. Of course, some discretion is used for this, we don't request EMS for garbage can fires, or the like, and we hold off requesting EMS on some calls until something is confirmed.

          Back on the subject, though, There have been times that the Fire Dept. has been asked to disregard a response to a car accident, due to it being unfounded, or a simple non injury runoff, or a heap on the side of the road that just looks like it was in an accident, etc. What I am getting at is, quite simply, use discretion, but remember that it is easier to turn units back than it is to get them there.

          Take Care,


          • #6

            Yes, there should be no reason for the Fire Department not to run all MVA/PI's. I am from St Mary's County Maryland and about 10 years ago The Bay District Volunteer Fire Department got the ball rolling, with a lot of fighting now all Fire Departments in St Mary's County run on all MVA/PI's. Of course with all runs, sometimes it is a pain when you get sent on fender benders, but we all know not every run is the big one.


            • #7
              My department respondes with an Engine and then the rescue is second out. The only way the it's paged out as a first response is if it's a car vs person.

              I mean think about it. A car has gasoline and electricity. Sparks makes fire. Fire could = explosion. I would want my *** covered if I was respondind to a MVA.


              If you sent us to HELL, WE'D PUT IT OUT!!


              • #8
                We respond an engine and rescue on all accidents with injury and all unknown injury accidents. This has always worked great for us, plus if it was my family or friends I would want the best help there possible and enough people to move a patient safely besides just the 2 medics in the box.


                • #9
                  One engine, One rescue. If there are injuries we go.


                  • #10
                    I don't know about you guys, 454, but one of the biggest plusses about toning out rescue's and engines on all MVA's is the cribbing, and the rescue lines. If that car/truck/SUV is precarisouly perched, or it's a multiple MVA, then I want those vehicles stabalized before I even think about trying to do my work. Just my two cents...

                    "I hate it when someone says something is impossible, because then I have to go and find a way to do it."
                    Stay safe, boys and girls. It's for keeps out there.


                    • #11
                      We USUALLY run a engine to all MVA's..it depends what type of MVA also.if there's fluids..a engine gets dispatched...98% of the time PD is on scene and telling us what we need...# of EMS rigs. If FD is needed or not..u get hte point..but if we get toned out for a MVA with injuries and Pd is not available..We automatically dispatch FD and put them on standby.

                      South Amboy, New Jersey
                      EMS Cadet in NJ
                      "EMTS DON'T DIE THEY JUST STABILIZE"


                      • #12
                        We go on all MVAs...one engine and the rescue. If someone from the scene (fire or ambulance, not the PD) confirms no PI, we'll probably turn the rescue around.

                        1) Better to be there than not.
                        2) NH law puts the fire chief (or his designee) in charge of all emergency scenes.
                        3) Even if no PI, there may be environmental/haz mat issues.
                        4) We stand by while the vehicle(s) is/are loaded onto wrecker/flatbed.

                        Stay Safe.
                        You asked for my opinion, now you have it. Any similarity to another opinion, living or dead, is purely coincidental.


                        • #13
                          I think fire should run on all PI's. If we're not needed we can be called off. By the time PD and/or EMS arrive, decide they need fire, several precious minutes have gone by.


                          • #14
                            Here is our response to MVA's,We are dual alerted with EMS.

                            1st 1 ENGINE 1250/1000, Crew of 6
                            2nd 1 RESCUE Hydraulics/Air Bags
                            3rd 1 TANKER, 2200 Gal. If FIRE/HAZMAT Reported or Involving Heavy Truck/Tractor-Trailer, or Vehicle into Structure.
                            4th 1 ENGINE, If staffing permits, Used for Traffic Control/Scene Safety, Landing Zones, etc.

                            Sounds like a lot, But it works well for us. About 50% of our calls are MVA's. Most are handled with 1 Engine and the Rescue. But we have the ability to do more when needed. Also, We have no problem asking for help if we think we will need it. The dispatchers usually will put additional help on the road or on standby if the information they have indicates it will be needed.

                            We ALWAYS Send an Engine FIRST. Scene Safety, Fire Suppression, and Hazard Identification/Control are the reasons. The OIC on the Engine can do a Size-Up, Determine what is needed, and Begin Operations. The situation described by 454 is one that we all hope to avoid.

                            Stay Safe



                            • #15
                              Whether to automatically send F.D. on MVAs?

                              It depends on the local conditions, EMS, response times, ect.

                              My department doesn't automatically roll on injury accidents. Why? Because the EMS service is fully staffed with 3-4 personnel per unit, as well as their own first responders, with response times around 5-6 minutes. The dispatchers usually have fairly accurate information about the wreck and use their descretion about upgrading the response (entrapment, multiple Pts, spills /hazards, extended ETA for the ambulance, etc). If EMS gets on scene and needs something, it doesn't take long to get there. If we rolled on every MVA in our small district (13 sq miles) it would add around 6 runs per DAY. That would increase our operating costs and burn out our members for little benefit. If the call requires the fire department, the dispatcher usually knows about it and sends the appropriate resources. Every community is different, and what works here won't always work somwhere else.


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