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Home>Topics>>Fire Service-Based EMS: The Right Response

Fire Service-Based EMS: The Right Response

Thu, 9 Sep 2010|

Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates video documenting the strategic position of the fire service to deliver timely, safe, competent, cost-effective and compassionate prehospital Emergency Medical Services.



The Advocates for Fire Service-Based EMS Coalition believe that fire service-based EMS systems are strategically positioned to deliver pre-hospital emergency medical services that incorporate time critical response and effective patient care. Fire service-based EMS emphasizes responder safety, competent and compassionate workers, and cost-effective operations. [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO] [MUSIC] In a medical emergency 90% of the people in North America rely on fire service spaced emergency medical services. Because firefighters provide multiple skills, timely arrival, and competent care. For EMS, the right response. Firefighters have dedicated their careers to saving lives and property. Firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics are trained to arrive quickly and perform their roles efficiently and effectively. Because quick response can mean the difference between life and death. >> When there's a medical emergency at my home, or my place of work. I want Fire-Based EMS to respond because they're the organization, and the people with the training and the equipment to handle any contingency that comes up. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Today, Fire-Service Based EMS professionals provide the community with the most rapid response times. And the highest quality of pre hospital patient care possible. [MUSIC] The emblem you see on every one of their emergency medical response vehicles says it all. It is called the star of life. The serpent and staff in the middle of the star are time honored symbols of healing. Each point in the star has a significant meaning. Detection, reporting, response, on scene care, care in transit, and transfer to definitive care. Detection and reporting are for the most part handled by dedicated emergency systems established within each community. The remaining four points of the star are of direct and vital concern to fire service based emergency responders. Each is a constant reminder that quick response means the difference between life and death. Decades ago, firefighters helped establish the use of vital life-sustaining services, such as first aid, oxygen systems and CPR. I answered the call and I was doing CPR >> EMS pioneer, Eugene Nagle >> Cardiac arrest was unsuccessful, and this fire lieutenant said to me, Well they all die anyway. And at that time, 1963. In the hospital we would occasionally have a success with a cardiac arrest. And when he said they all die outside in the street, I said there has to be some reason. There, we obviously can save lives in the street if we do something like we do in the hospital. And that. Became the, the center of the idea for trying to change how we treat patients in the street. >> The modern approach to emergency medical services was supported by the revolutionary study, Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease of Modern Society. We chose the firefighters to deliver this emergency care because the firefighters were available. They didn't have to invent them, they were there, they were stationed throughout the community, and they were willing to learn, they were easy to teach. >> Today, we are guided by another landmark. The Institute of Medicine's Future of Emergency Care report. If there are any government agencies, or public groups that think that EMS is a static discipline, they are sadly wrong. And in fact, there's a recent paper by the institute of medicine in Washington that lists the areas. Where improvements and changes are needed. >> The IOM's recommendations envision a 21st century emergency care system where care is seamless between all points of the star of life, accountable and able to perform well both day to day and in times of disaster [MUSIC] There's a real benefit to having seamless care. Some care where you're not transferring a patient to another agency. There's something lost every time you do that. >> Many improvements in medical care have, unfortunately, been the product of war. We've also learned that many injuries that occurring in the battlefield and those [UNKNOWN] civilian sectors are time [UNKNOWN] injuries. What that means in you'll have av very few minutes to stop that process of death for that [UNKNOWN]. [MUSIC] Fire service based responders are professionally trained to operate within the time critical windows common to both medical emergencies and fires. A structure fire must be attacked within eight to ten minutes after ignition. Firefighters are usually on the scene within three and a half to four and a half minutes. In cardiac arrest, brain death typically occurs within eight to ten minutes. The time between cessation of the heart beat and initiation of CPR, defibrillation and advanced cardiac life support determines the patient's chances of survival. [MUSIC] For the treatment of heart attack victims, medical experts, including the American Heart Association, recommend response times of less than five minutes. Fire service based EMS professionals regularly meet such response times. Documented survival rates for cardiac arrest patients are markedly higher for patients served by cross-trained multi-role firefighters than for those victims served by providers and non fire service based systems. >> For the public, it means you dial one number. 911. And no matter what your emergency, you get the fire department. And the fire department is equipped and trained to handle that emergency whether it's a fire, an EMS call, or anything else. We are naturally deployed and virtually every community in this country, in any, in every neighborhood in this country, fire departments are deployed for rapid response. And, and if emergency isn't fast, its not emergency response. You know. We're not gonna get any awards for same day service. It has to be fast or its not emergency. >> Response time is also key in cases of traumatic injury. Here again, firefighters work together, performing extraction, rescue and decontamination, simultaneously providing medical assessments and interventions. >> Fire-based EMS puts the best things together with various disciplines needed in the community. If you need a response for fire, you need a response for EMS, for hazmat, for dive rescue. We have more or less a standing army that's busy doing many things, but at the same time, when we can add something as efficient as EMS and efficient to the citizens into our system, that's a benefit to the community. I can think of no other systems that come with the complete toolbox, if you will, to handle whatever you can possibly encounter, out of the hospital, that requires emergency medical care. That is the head and shoulders advantage of fire based EMS over any other delivery system in our country [MUSIC] When it comes to multi casualty emergencies, fire service based emergency medical services are there. >> During hurricane Andrew, down in Miami years ago, the private ambulances chose not to respond. That's a problem. With systems that are not based in a public fire department like ours, where you have to respond. We are going to respond, that's our job, and that's one of the big benefits to the community of having EMS in the fire department. [MUSIC] The major changed that needs to occur in EMS funding today is to move dollars to where the patient is taken care of. Today, fire-based EMS provides hundreds of thousands of patients their contacts every year that are uncompensated. That patient care is just as important as the transportation of that patient to the hospital. Firefighters. When the community calls they are there. Twenty four hours a day everyday of the year. When decisions are made at the national state and local levels of government remember that the most delivering 911 emergency medical care throughout the nation. Is through fire service based EMS systems. Policies that protect, support, and enhance the capabilities of fire service based EMS systems are critical. [MUSIC]

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