FIRE ENGINES ON FIRST AID CALLS
Many residents ask why Fire Engines respond to emergency medical calls along with the ambulance.
In an emergency medical incident, additional staffing may be necessary to treat the patient and prepare for transportation to the hospital, or add additional transport staff during the emergency. This additional staffing enables the responding crew to simultaneously complete different tasks for the patient’s care and best outcome possible.
Sometimes, it may seem like a “simple incident,” but through experience we have learned that underestimating an emergency situation can be a big mistake. For this reason, the districts approach is to think pessimistically when responding to a call. In other words, we come prepared to deal with the worst that could happen.
For instance, when a patient has a heart attack, hooking up the defibrillator, performing CPR, helping a person to breathe and assisting with Advanced Life Support skills may all need to be accomplished quickly and simultaneously in order to give the patient the best chance for survival. By having additional EMTs on hand, the care of the patient is improved, and the preparation time before transportation to the hospital is significantly shortened.
Fire Engines are also equipped with additional equipment necessary to assist in medical situations for example, we may need to make forcible entry into a residence or monitor the atmosphere in the case carbon monoxide poisoning. On majority of medical calls the fire engine may remain on the scene for assistance, but is available to respond to another emergency if necessary.
To some it may seem like overkill however, the philosophy of this fire department is not to lose valuable time waiting for an additional piece of equipment to arrive once a review of the situation calls for it. The winner in this situation will always be the citizen who needs help. The Departments endeavors are to give our residents the best care possible. As our motto states “Semper Paratus” Always Prepared.
Ask yourself this question, if it was mine or my family’s emergency and I need emergency care now, would I rather have them show up prepared for anything? Or just partially prepared.