Chicago Fire Department removes bunker gear from city Paramedics

NUEMT

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http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/chicago-fire-department-collecting-bunker-gear-from-paramedics/

This follows the removal of SCBA gear from city ambulances 2 years ago

For those of you not familiar with the structure of the CFD and the EMS operations within, CFD has single role medics who operate 75 ambulances citywide(not enough). FF/PMs also staff engines and trucks in houses without ambulances and other stations all over the city.

CFD medics often contend that they are treated as second class citizens despite having 2/3 of the call volume. My first hand knowledge is limited to a couple years riding on a CFD "Ambo." I didn't see any direct mistreatment of medics at the house level but it was clear that union negotiations and relinquishments were often made on the backs of Medics, versus the pure fire membership. Local 2 represents both medics and fire side and seems to vary in its effort depending on who you ask.
 

TransportJockey

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Honestly I don't see what the big deal is. Most places your single role medics don't have bunker gear anyway. Sounds like they might get extrication gear, which would be about all they need.
 
OP
NUEMT

NUEMT

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I think the reasoning is okay actually. But I bet it feels like just another way to define the line between fire and EMS. While also blurring it.
 

NomadicMedic

EMS Edumacator
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This is the key statement: "CFD has single role medics who operate 75 ambulances citywide"

Single role. Paramedics, not fire fighters. Structural gear isn't needed.
 

COmedic17

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We had "extrication" gear (pretty much bunker gear) that we used to be issued, but no longer are.

Honestly, the only time I have ever needed it was crawling on hoods to get an airway on an entrapment and such. Most of the time fire will throw one of their coats down over the area so we are able to get the job done anyways. I also wear mine during "hike ins" when we have to walk sometimes several miles in the snow in the rural areas, but that's only because they were warm.

The reason we were issued them was due to us responding with a BLS department, was if ALS interventions need to be preformed while someone is still in the vehicle. But the FD has always been accommodating with assisting us to make it as safe as possible. The only people that seemed to have a problem with us phasing them out where the handful of people who liked to wear their bunker pants with suspenders for whatever reason. They looked ridiculous though ( imagine private ambulance t shift with these huge bunker pants). I still have mine and keep it in the truck, but only for hike in senarios. The newer people who were not issued them just keep snow pants in the truck. I can't imagine Chicago EMS doing many rural hike ins though.
 

CALEMT

The Other Guy/ Paramaybe?
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I don't see what the big deal is. When are you going to find a single role medic in a IDLH environment? Probably never, unless they're a FFPM. Extrication gear would make more sense.
 

46Young

Level 25 EMS Wizard
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It sounds like they have medics on their engines and ladder companies that can go into the IDLH, inside a car, etc. The txp medics need to be ready to receive the pt, not commit to other activities.

My department is dual-role. The first arriving ambulance crew may try to grab a back-up line and go inside, jump in with an extrication team, or commit to going inside of a car in an MVC, where the pt.they end up getting in their ambulance may be a different one. Now, you have to call another ambulance to take the original one's role.That's not the deployment goal of that first ambulance. There are suppression units to do non-txp tasks.

No need for structural PPE on an ambulance.
 

DrParasite

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I agree, if you have medics on the engine and ladder, why do you need EMS personnel with SCBA & bunker gear? if you are never getting near the car, or near the unsafe area, just give them the cot, and have the suppression guys package the patient and deliver them to you.

It would make me not want to be a single role medic, esp if you can be a FF medic who can do everything and then hand the patient off to the ambulance crew for transport, but then again, I don't have any desire to move to chicago.

Here is a question: so if the CFD ambulance were to arrive at a house fire before the suppression units, and want to try to evacuate the residents (similar to what the cops frequently do), wouldn't you want to give them the proper PPE to get the job done safely?
 

MonkeyArrow

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Here is a question: so if the CFD ambulance were to arrive at a house fire before the suppression units, and want to try to evacuate the residents (similar to what the cops frequently do), wouldn't you want to give them the proper PPE to get the job done safely?
Do cops have proper PPE?
 

CALEMT

The Other Guy/ Paramaybe?
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Here is a question: so if the CFD ambulance were to arrive at a house fire before the suppression units, and want to try to evacuate the residents (similar to what the cops frequently do), wouldn't you want to give them the proper PPE to get the job done safely?
I don't know how CFD rolls, but I don't think their ambulance medics are crossed trained as firefighters. So here is a question: why give fire suppression gear to people who aren't even trained in fire suppression?
 

Tigger

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Here is a question: so if the CFD ambulance were to arrive at a house fire before the suppression units, and want to try to evacuate the residents (similar to what the cops frequently do), wouldn't you want to give them the proper PPE to get the job done safely?
If they are not firefighters, then no. Why would you give people equipment that they don't know how to use and reaffirm what is often a poor decision?
 

46Young

Level 25 EMS Wizard
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Chicago is urban. Units are going to be stacked on top of each other arriving on-scene. I can't envision a scenario where the ambulance is arriving on-scene several minutes prior to fire units, and need to commit to a primary search.
 

Summit

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Chicago is urban. Units are going to be stacked on top of each other arriving on-scene. I can't envision a scenario where the ambulance is arriving on-scene several minutes prior to fire units, and need to commit to a primary search.
Then they would need to be trained as FFs and outfitted as FFs and what you need are actually FFs, not paramedics.
 

meatanchor

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Maybe they're turning in their bunker gear and getting issued level IIIa body armor. That would probably be more appropriate PPE for an urban EMS system.
 

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