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Integrated Fire/EMS

Discussion in 'Firefighter/EMS Talk' started by oldstyle, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. oldstyle

    oldstyle Jeep Pirate

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    We are a combined Fire and EMS department, which is a good thing. I'm being bumped from my Ladder into a Rescue (ambulance), which is a bad thing. I guess everybody has to pay dues at some point but this sure will be a switch. No more fires or extrications....no more forcing entry. Just Pt care and lots of trips to the hospital.

    So, who else works for a combined service?
     
  2. mclark

    mclark

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    Rotating! If you all do 24/48, rotate 1 day on the gutbox with someone on the ladder or engine. Works great, keeps everyone proficient, and slows down EMS burnout.
     

  3. TxFire

    TxFire

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    We are combined. I spent about 5 years on the box most shifts. Now I pretty much ride a Truck (paramedic truck though).
    We run our boxes (ambulances) on fires and you would likely be first in, in you own district. I do miss it some. I'll be back on one soone enough though.
     
  4. MakeMineA10mm

    MakeMineA10mm * * * * Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    I'm not sure it's a good thing at all, the way it sounds.

    Usually when Fire and EMS is combined, it's (kind-of) good for EMS, bad for the Fire Dept. When they start raiding the fire side to get personnel for the EMS side, it almost always means fire crews are short-handed on their runs. It also means that, instead of attracting people to do EMS by raising salaries, they combine and steal firefighters off the rigs to do EMS. OTOH, combining usually does wind up raising the EMS salary anyway, to equal the firefighters'... BUT, even though the Paramedics do get a nice raise, the city still saves money by stealing the firefighters and putting them on EMS duties.

    The pencil-pushers (City Manager / City Administrator) LOVE this, because it looks like a more efficient use of manpower - Those firefighters who just sit around the station all day are getting utilized more, and the city didn't have to hire more EMS personnel... Trouble is, most city managers have never needed an ambulance when the entire on-duty shift (and some call-ins), INCLUDING THE EMS CREWS NOW THAT THEY'RE CONSOLIDATED, are at the scene of a multi-alarm fire... (Too bad that doesn't happen more often...)

    I've seen some elaborate ideas for combined EMS & Fire manpower, and no matter how you cut it (even if there are shared duties, such as the "extra guy" works whatever rig a call comes in for), there's always short-falls where there is less manpower.

    Our City tried to incorporate the private EMS system a few years ago. The Fire Chief showed how this would bring money into the coffers, thanks to being able to charge for EMS service (at around $850 per run for a Code 3 run). The union said fine, but EMS are going to be firefighters too, they have to be covered under the firefighter contract, and there is going to be minimum staffing in the contract.

    That ended that...

    At least the Chief agreed with the minimum staffing because he saw the value of keeping companies fully manned. The city manager didn't agree, so there was division on management's side, which made the union win easier.

    My dad was a career firefighter, rising to the permanent rank of Captain, and being temporary Asst. Chief at times. As a firefighter's kid, I was able to "live the dream" of every boy (spending nights at the firehouse, riding on the Engine, polishing the trucks, ringing the bell, etc.) and I've always been a fire buff. As a citizen, I WANT the highest-paid, most-professional fire dept we can get.

    Combined agencies can work well, but not when organized and administrated by pencil-pushers...
     
  5. TerraMedicX

    TerraMedicX

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    This is something that I've never understood, and really makes me angry. If firefighters don't want to be paramedics, WHY ARE THEY?!?! All this does is lead to poor paramedics and poor firefighters. The two jobs are completely different and BOTH require constant training. Training for EMS takes time away from fire training and the other way around. Let fire fighters be fire fighters and let paramedics be paramedics!

    :soap:


    Nate.
     
  6. MakeMineA10mm

    MakeMineA10mm * * * * Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    Wow Nate! You said in a few lines what took me a few paragraphs. I couldn't agree more.
     
  7. TxFire

    TxFire

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    Well guys I'm gonna have to go against y'all on this. It works VERY well for us and pretty much everywhere in the Dallas area. We FULLY staff both areas, our pay is great, and the citizens get a higher standard of care in my opinion as the paramedics are diretcly tied to the city Vs. private EMS. The City is not "making" money on EMS. They are losing money. But the city does not make money on Fire or Police either. The only down side is the guys who piss and moan about riding the Ambulance when they knew what this job entailed prior. My city has been in this for a LONG time. When Paramedicine came to Dallas, we began running it. Prior to us the Funeral home had an "ambulance" of sorts I'm told.
     
  8. E.Ritz

    E.Ritz

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    EMS here is the only agency that pays for its self and adds money to the general fund. We do have a first responder program that is ran by city fire (small county) most of them are EMTs or Paramedics, some of them are good, some of them are interested in being firefighters not medics. I don't want the latter ever working on me or my family. EMS usually beats them to the scene anyway or is there in less than a couple of minutes.
     
  9. faceplant

    faceplant

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    We are a fire dept that supplies medical but has a private company supply transport. If it is ALS our medics ride in. 70% of our calls are EMS so it would be difficult to sit on our butts letting a private company run our calls. EMS is love hate for a fire dept and right now it is less than good for our medics. It was not that way when I was hired a short time ago. We now require all hired to be medics. Nothing like six different bosses to get in your $*&^. Good times come and go. If your Dept is worth it ride out the BS at the top and enjoy one of the worlds most interesting jobs.
     
  10. G21FAN

    G21FAN Useless loser Millennium Member

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    15 Years on an ambulance, Mostly private but some fire run too. I agree. I do believe that it should be a SEPARATE 3rd service. IE,, Dallas Police Dept.-Dallas Fire Dept.-Dallas EMS Dept....ETC.....
     
  11. Chill Will

    Chill Will

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    I havent been working EMS but a little over 2 years and really love working the box, The county I work for is incorperating into a fire/rescue operation still in the baby stage. The county I worked for before had a good set up I thought where fire and ems were seperate most fire had a medic and were als approved , usually they got there first because of the size diffrences in districts and could stabilize the patients untill we arived and assist in emergency treatment of the patient and we would transport. I liked that relationship it provided the public with excellent care. If you wanted to be a fireman and work on a fire truck you could go into that field, if you wanted to be a medic or emt and work off an ambulance you could do that also your choice. We are incorporating like I said and I dont like it a little bit I dont want to be a fireman but will have to take the fire courses and get certified here is the thing, I would be a lousy fireman because I have no intrest in it at all now is that providing quality care to the public? Would it be right to ask a long time fireman to go to medic school so he could keep his job? He could do it but if his heart wasnt in it he would be a poor medic and I wouldnt want him working on me. Diffrent strokes folks. If it floats your boat then thats cool but not all will benefit from incorperating.
     
  12. oldstyle

    oldstyle Jeep Pirate

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  13. DScottHewitt

    DScottHewitt EMT-B

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    Let firefighters be firefighters and hire EMS personnel to just do EMS. But municipalities don't like that approach. They want Swiss Army knife personnel.....


    Scott


    :alien:
     
  14. Mr. Ajax

    Mr. Ajax

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    I work for a private EMS/TX agency that provides all of the EMS for my city. We have a great working relationship with our FD and PD, but we are clearly all separate entities. During the weekdays we have on EMS truck for the city, our response vehicle, and 2 TX trucks marked up. the EMS truck is the first team call, and the response unit goes to the 2nd team calls. If a second call goes out and the TX trucks are in town they run the second and third calls (3 aren't very common)

    If no second team truck is available the response unit meets the FD at the scene in our extra EMS truck that is stored at the FD. They dont run AIC on any calls but they drive the response unit provider if he needs to TX. the second FF will bring the response unit back to the station. it works out well and I've yet to see a call go mutual aid.

    I'm currently in my NREMT-I class (finish in august) and I will probably be applying to the Roanoke FD some time in the next year. The pay is a lot higher, though they dont get shift diff, and I do want to get involved in firefighting. If I do go I will be going to work as a medic, and the FF duties are just a bonus. It will also be nice not to have to work TX shifts anymore, although the day is nice and easy.
     
  15. Mr. Ajax

    Mr. Ajax

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    oh, and imho the FD benefits more from the merger than EMS, EMS is busy, fire... not so much these days.


    [ducks for cover]
     
  16. DaleGribble

    DaleGribble Sandwich!

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    My service is strictly EMS and I like it that way because I have absolutely no desire to be a fireman. If our agency decided to do both, I'd quit and go back to being da polease!

    I'm not all that community oriented and this is just a job for me, nothing more, nothing less and I'm not all that thrilled about rushing up into a burning building.
     
  17. ClydeG19

    ClydeG19

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    I'm having a hard time imagining why someone not community oriented would be a cop and then an EMT. Don't you get some sort of satisfaction out of the job? You certainly can't be in it for the big money. As far as the burning building part...it's not for everybody. Neither is sticking needles in people, which is something I don't want to do.

    Almost all depts in the Phx metro area are career combined Fire/EMS depts. A few here and there are vollie or partially vollie. Even the vollie stations require that you go to the academy out here. It's kind of ridiculous. Something like 2 nights per week and all Saturdays for 6 months. You also need EMT-B to even get into the program. I wonder if they are having trouble getting new vollies? Here I am, perfectly qualified and enough experience to not be a total newb, and I can't vollie with going through a year's worth (if I was able to do it all solid through) of what would basically be refresher training except for some of the EMT stuff at my own expense.