Fire Based EMS — The Right Choice for Public Safety

Time. It’s a precious commodity, and it waits for no one. When lives are on the line, seconds count. Fractions of seconds count.

Few individuals in our lives better understand the importance of time than the men and women of the fire service. Highly qualified public servants, trained to handle crises affecting both people and property – often simultaneously. The dedication and training of these professionals and their commitment to quality of care are just two of the many reasons why fire-based Emergency Medical Service is the clear choice for public officials and the communities they serve. 

Higher Survival Rates

As communities evaluate their present emergency medical care needs, they may focus exclusively on patient transportation issues. Most research, however, has demonstrated that rapid, on-scene medical intervention produces the best patient outcomes. The fire service is best positioned to deliver this critical care, as well as rapid patient transport. Fire-based EMS provides a comprehensive approach to emergency care, with trained personnel capable of handling any complication. The bottom line – a better chance for patient survival – is the true measure of quality for any pre-hospital emergency medical system.

Rapid Response Times

The fire service is known for its rapid mobilization. Firefighters are the nation’s first responders and fire-based EMS get to the scene faster. A comprehensive response within time limits set by the emergency medical community should be the goal for other EMS providers. It is routine for the fire service.

Quality of Care

Unacceptably high workloads, stress and perceived lack of commitment to patient care by employers all take their toll on the single-role EMS provider. Unfortunately, the patients they serve also invariably suffer. The teamwork, efficient job performance, and continuous patient contact enjoyed by the fire service, on the other hand, affects patient care in a way that cannot be qualified by dollars. Nevertheless, these are critical areas of inquiry for those who are deciding between competing EMS systems for their communities.

Fire-Based EMS -- The Right Choice

Citizens need a system that works in the field, not only on paper. Decision makers, therefore, must look at what their community is getting for the price, particularly in the areas of response time, personnel capabilities and system efficiency. Only then can a community make an informed choice about a critical service, with the same confidence that they place in the rapid response and effective work of their fire department.

More information and details about fire-based EMS are available from the International Association of Fire Fighters website.