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  • fire Department ran Ambulance service

    In the past few months our department, has been questioned by our citizens in our district, about taking over the ambulance service in our district. We are researching this subject now. We are starting the process for running ALS non-transport since our full-time crews are manned with paramedics. Has anyone done this and if so what are the pros and cons. Thanks

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    Captain Jeremy Whitehill
    Nixa Fire Protection District
    Nixa, MO

  • #2
    Take the opportunity and run with it! You already have paramedics in place. Fire based EMS provides a better quality service, the members of the Department know the community. You may have to add more personnel, but the funding from the ambulance and paramedic services can pay for the additional personnel and maintain the equipment, in effect making your fire based EMS system self sufficient. The Department will get excellent PR every time the rig goes out the door, and the taxpayers will receive the benefits instead of stockholders!

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    Take care and be safe...Lt. Gonzo

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    • #3
      I am a very strong supporter for fire-based EMS. I believe that with the support of the fire department, the EMS service can really be a great asset. It is important to realize before you take on EMS, whether or not it will be supported by Administration, and the firefighters. EMS in the fire service can sometimes be looked upon as being the "bastard child". Firefighters and EMS work together all the time, especially now that most fire departments are running EMS as 75% of their call volume. It is good to have the medics there in the fire station as it promotes comradeire and allows the responders to work better with each other. Incorporating EMS in the fire department also allows for widening of the career ladder, allowing more room for promotions and growth.

      Mike Clumpner
      Firefighter/Paramedic
      City of Durham (NC) Fire Department

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      • #4
        If the fire department does not take over EMS, there may be a good chance that someone else may. As already stated, the money that EMS brings in can really help off-set your budget, or add needed items that otherwise may be hard to obtain.
        Staffing is an issue almost everywhere in the country.
        If you could send a 2 man ambulance with your current Engine company on structure fires, you could satisify 2 in 2 out (unless you already can).
        If you already can do that, then having 2 more FF's on the scene can't hurt!

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        • #5
          Should this issue be pursued even if the current EMS service is ALS, and the Fire Service is BLS/AED. We currently respond with our private EMS service on all MVA's and code 3 responses. The benefits would be, a cost savings to the community, and an additional revenue source for our department. What steps could we take to promote this incorporation?

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          • #6
            Emphasize the speed of response. Is fire commonly on scene before ALS backup? Show the citizens the AHA guidelines and convince them you can be there first. Leave non-emergency transfers to privates- it's not worth the hassle in my experience. Here, all emergency calls here are handled by FD, paramedics are also firefighters, and all other line personnel are EMT-B's. With the exception of a few older guys who are grandfathered, all line personnel must take, pass and keep at least EMT-B or above. This increases the pool for responses, makes continuing ed easier, lessens the overall cost to the community, and improves service and accounability- at least down here in West Texas. The key is incentive pay for firefighters to have EMS certification. Capt. Dan

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