Fire EMS

USING EMS CALLS TO STRESS FIRE SAFETY

Issue 12 and Volume 154.

Many of the patients treated by fire service EMTs and paramedics also represent the segments of the population at greatest risk of injury or death from fire. Just a couple of decades ago, many people questioned the fire service’s role in emergency medical services (EMS). Today, the value of providing advanced prehospital care to improve the survival of victims of traumatic injury and acute health crises, such as cardiac ailments and respiratory distress, is almost universally accepted and acknowledged. As the stature of fire service EMS has risen and its role has become more secure, an awkward paradox has emerged: Many fire service agencies, burdened with burgeoning demand for their services, now have a questionable commitment to fire prevention. Recognizing the increasing demand for EMS and the disproportionate toll fire takes among the most vulnerable in society, fire departments should take another look at the services their paramedics, emergency medical…

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