Non-Transport EMS

Does your local volunteer fire service provide medical care &/or transport?

  • Fire-only (no medical)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Fire + Medical (no transport)

    Votes: 3 50.0%
  • Fire + Medical (transport)

    Votes: 3 50.0%

  • Total voters
    6

CWATT

Forum Lieutenant
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A friend of mine works for a volunteer fire service which also does medical response. They have an ambulance and sprint truck (Chevy Tahoe) in their fleet and operate as ‘medical first response’ (stop-the-clock). Since they not a licensed ambulance service, they do not transport patients.

I’m just wondering if this is a common format in the US as well. Some Google searching of volunteer fire departments shows a bit of a mix — some photos showing fire-only equipment, others with ambulances (though I’m not sure if they transport).


*please see the POLL above.


- C
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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We have two stations: our station in the city sends the engine with 3 FF/EMTs to all EMS calls that we are dispatched to, with the county providing a transporting ambulance. our station in the county sends a QRV (currently an SUV, but we are getting a 4 door pickup to replace it) with 2 FF/EMTs (and maybe a 3rd firefighter depending on if we have extra personnel at the station) to all EMS calls we are dispatched to, with the county providing a transporting ALS ambulance.

I've seen some FDs take an old ambulance and call it a "rescue" where they use it for first response purposes, but not as a transport capable vehicle (usually they remove the stretcher). Others will go POV to an EMS call, and maybe someone will pick up the EMS vehicle from the station. Or they will take the entire on duty shift and have them respond on a suppression piece to maintain crew continuity. It all depends on how the individual department wants to handle EMS calls.
 

NomadicMedic

EMS Edumacator
10,698
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Sussex County EMS in Delaware is entirely nontransport. It’s county-based ALS service that responds with local volunteer ambulance to provide patient care.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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Sussex County EMS in Delaware is entirely nontransport. It’s county-based ALS service that responds with local volunteer ambulance to provide patient care.
I think he was referring to first response programs, but if you want to talk fly car systems, almost every ALS system in NJ has their paramedics in flycars.
 

CWATT

Forum Lieutenant
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28
I've seen some FDs take an old ambulance and call it a "rescue" where they use it for first response purposes, but not as a transport capable vehicle (usually they remove the stretcher).
This is exactly the set-up the volunteer fire department a different friend is involved with elsewhere in the country. They respond to 911 medical calls when the local service does not have any available units, although I’m told this is rare.

I think he was referring to first response programs
Correct — I was asking more about first response programs (volunteer or otherwise) that respond to 911 calls but aren’t licensed to transport. The sprint (flycars) used within larger city services serve a different purpose.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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To add to what I said earlier, where I live, if you are in a city/municipality, typically the engine is the first responder vehicle, but the ladder will go if the engine is on a run, with the entire crew.

in the county, it's usually a QRV/SUV, or a brush truck, or a utility/pickup type vehicle. in the more rural area, it's usually some type of QRV, but many volunteers will also go POV to the scene of a medical.

In NJ, very few volunteer FDs run EMS calls, but almost every municipality (even the small ones) have their own BLS EMS agency, so it's not like you would be saving much time but requesting a volunteer FD response to a medical call. There are a few career FDs that don't run EMS calls, or don't run anything but the most serious of EMS calls.
 

ffemt8978

Forum Vice-Principal
Community Leader
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My first fire department was a non transport agency, but my second was fire and ems transport.

I'm willing to guess it depends a lot on what resources are available in the area. My non-transport department contracted with the local private als ambulance service for transport, to the point one of their rigs was stationed at our fire station. Didn't make much financial sense for us to transport.

My transport department was so far out in the boonies, it was an hour drive to the nearest McDonalds. We really had no choice but to do the transports ourselves.
 

OceanBossMan263

Forum Probie
20
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Where I live is mixed response between County PD, local Volunteer FD (many with paid EMS during the day) and scattered privates having 911 contracts for villages.

County PD has ambulances staffed by single medics. They respond to an alarm and one of the cops drives the ambulance to the hospital from scene. Most of the local FD paid side is at least 1 medic. Some have a 2-person crew, others have the medic take the bus to scene and have the driver meet there. Some of those services also have the medic hit the hydrant for the first due engine or even take on firefighting duty if needed.

The agency I was with started as BLS first response to municipal beach system, and would turn over to a responding ambulance, or occasionally lend the EMT to the local FD to transport. That shop has now expanded to ALS fly car and a dual response to the entire local FD response area. Again, the medic will jump on the bus with FD if needed.
 

NomadicMedic

EMS Edumacator
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Gotcha sorry about the confusion. Here in PA there’s lots of QRS, quick response services, that mostly just get in the way.
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
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All of the volunteer FDs here respond to medicals, and most of them respond in ambulances. They can transport to meet an ALS ambulance or in MCI situations, but they are generally prohibited from transporting to an ED unless they have volunteer and vetted paramedics. I appreciate that they can rendezvous with us, some of their districts are over an hour from the hospital. On the flip side, sometimes it's totally appropriate to wait for paramedics to arrive and provide analgesia or something like that rather than dragging grandma off the floor with a piece of garden hose to bite on.

My last job had them responding in light rescue squad kind of trucks which eliminated that and was probably cheaper as well.
 
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