Fire EMS, Fire Prevention & Protection, Firefighting

Are You Ready for EMS Challenges?

Issue 3 and Volume 166.

By JERRY BIGGART As a current and future fire service leader, you are responsible for ensuring that your fire department is better positioned to provide emergency medical services (EMS) in your community than other organizations and companies. An estimated 36,698,670 EMS events (responses) occurred in the United States in 2009.1 Many would argue that an all-hazards fire-based EMS provider is the best way to handle a vast majority of these responses. The caveat to the previous statement, however, is that you must ensure that the fire-based EMS service is providing the highest level of care, treatment, and transport that its system’s scope of practice allows. There are many reasons and excuses for a service or system’s not maximizing its potential. In addition, there are hurdles out of the service’s control such as the state or a medical director who won’t add time critical and beneficial skills to an emergency medical…

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