1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

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    Sep 2002
    Central New Jersey

    Post FD dispatch protocols to EMS calls

    i am currently trying to find info on any career fire depts. response protocols to EMS calls. mainly what types of units (engine/ladder/rescue/etc.) are dispatched to what types of calls. are there any tiered responses? do you work with another agency that handles transportation to the hospital, public or private? etc.. anything will help, so please give me what ya got! thanks a bunch!!!!

  2. #2
    Dispatch Dweller
    Jay911's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    On the way to the station. Really. It's 12 kilometers away and there's traffic.


    The career department I dispatch for sends a pumper on all assist-ambulance (ASTAM) calls we receive from EMS. EMS uses the MPDS form of Emergency Medical Dispatch, so we run as follows:

    (This is my interpretation - I don't speak for official policy of my department!)

    Alpha - "Cold" response (no lights/sirens)
    Bravo - "Controlled" response (lights/sirens at discretion of officer)
    Charlie - Either "Controlled" or "Hot" at EMS's discretion
    Delta/Echo - "Hot" response (lights/sirens)

    In addition, in certain areas an additional piece of apparatus (a Rapid Response Vehicle or other fire apparatus) will be sent if it is closer than the pump. Note - "additional".. not "in place of".

    And of course we send extra apparatus to the call types that necessitate it, such as Card 29 (MVA), Card 22 (Industrial), etc etc etc.

    Our crews have EMS Dispatch's talkgroup in their radios and will also "book on" with them when responding to a medical call.

    Hope this helps. :)


  3. #3
    Forum Member
    RyanEMVFD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Why? It's not like you're going to visit me! But I'm near Waco, Texas


    we use the same cards that jay is referring to. we request fire sent to assist on all Priority 1 and 2s. this ranges from breathing problems, traffic accidents, strokes, mvcs, cprs and other stuff. this determints are made by our medical director. the main fire dept sends either a rescue vehicle, engine or a quint. i'm not that positive on their procedure. our dept will send our rescue van, engine or tanker 1. we can request aid from about 16 different fire depts in the areas that we cover.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
    IACOJ Attack

    Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

  4. #4
    Temporarily/No Longer Active
    dfdex1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002


    Here we keep it simple.
    If your in one part of the town your coverd by Rescue 1. or on the other end your coverd by Eng.2,if the rescue is busy then Eng. 3 covers it.

    In the station you hear.

    Attenion Rescue 1
    Two quick tones
    Rescue 1 respond to a medical aide 13 Pickering st. for a possible heart attack, thats Rescue 1 respond to a medical aide 13 Pickering st. for a possible heart attack.

    (Firefighters run to the rescue)

    Firefighters say "Rescue 1 is on "

    Long single tone

    Rescue 1 respond to a medical aide 13 Pickering st. for a possible heart attack, thats Rescue 1 respond to a medical aide 13 Pickering st. for a possible heart attack.

    Rescue has it 13 pickering.

    And so on and so forth,im not sure thats the SOP but just from listening to the scanner everyday that what they do. Its simple and it minimizes radio traffic.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Wheaton IL


    We dispatch an ALS engine to respond with the Ambulance for the following calls;
    Full Arrest
    Trouble or no breathing
    chest pain
    person passed out or unconscious
    unknown medical
    severe trauma

    Our heavy rescue goes on all MVC's, minor or not

    so basically we get an engine on almost everything.

    If it were up to me I'd drop the unk. medical, very rarely is the engine needed.

  6. #6
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Carthage, Mo.


    Here, each town has a different station number, all being dispatched from a central 911 dispatch for the whole county. I.E.... Carthage = station 61, Avilla = station 31, ect..... if Carthage get toned to a possible heart attack, the dispatch says " station 61, med station 61 stand by for tones, medical call gives address........ tones go off..... med 611, engine 611, rescue 611, respond to (address) cross streets (names), for a possible heart attack, caller advises (some symptoms). Advisor suggesting delta response.

    sometimes they say med 612, engine 611, rescue 611.... med 612 is ambulance #2. Engine 612 is engine #2.

    For avilla it is:
    Tanker 311
    engine 311
    engine/rescue 312
    tanker 312
    brush 311
    brush 312

    yesterday we were toned to a MVA roll-over on fire, unknown entrapment. it was toned as engine 311, rescue 312, med 611 .........

    We don't have an ambulance, it's toned from carthage.

    Be Safe.....

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    gunnyv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    SE MI


    We have a private company that provides ALS transport. We are their largest contract, but about 1/3 of their service area. They do not have stations, they play the 'status management' game. Their contract calls for 3 ALS units to be available within our borders. They put them on the borders to maintain coverage of the other communities. When they get a call from another community, they take one of ours and then move one up from farther out. They get caught in transit from one status spot to another all the time. Their response times seem to be either less than 5 minutes or more than 10.

    We currently provide BLS /AED first response and will be going to ALS in the near future. We maintain 4 stations with 4 engine companies and 2 truck/rescue companies (the apparatus they take is dictated by the call). All companies are manned with 3. An engine company is dispatched on all medical calls, unless the first due engine is out. Then the closest rescue is sent. Only if the rescue is unavailable does an engine respond to a medical outside it's first due area.

    MVAs get an engine and a rescue, two engines if the rescue is unavailable. We respond normal traffic to MVAs unless there is an injury noted during the 911 call.

    My Dept ran it's own ambulance until 1975 or so, then they gave it to the private and laid off 1/3 of the firefighters. We then ran no medicals until our First Responder program started in Nov 93. We were only supposed to be sent on life threatening calls, it quickly turned into all calls. We went from 1500 calls/yr in 92 to almost 7000 last year.

    We have a so-so relationship with the Amb medics. Most of their personnel are small women or lazy men. We do most of the lifting. We also drive their ambulances to the hospitals on priority 1s, and will sometimes also put a guy in the back. The officer then drives our rig to the hospital to pick us up. We work alot harder than they do for the patients.

    Most of the supplies we use are replenished from the ambulance before we clear the call. We do maintain some stock in the stations.

    All I can think of for now without further 'bashing' the Ambulance company. Hope it helps.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Westchester Co., NY USA


    WFD as you can see the types of responses vary from region and type of systems. The best thing to do is to sit down and evaluate what your department is looking to do and what are the needs of your community. My department utilizes our BLS engines as a back up to the volunteer ambulance corps. If a unit is not available or responding without a full crew a BLS engine is put on it. Someday I hope that we will not only do that but also respond to high priority calls, chest pain, SOB, trauma, stroke, arrest, unresponsive, etc. If you also provide ambulance service I'd look at doing a priority call dispatch or everything. If you deal with a 3rd service provider, I'd do the same leaning towards everything. EMS is an excellent PR tool, they will remember you there on an EMS call then they will on any fire call. But you have to do it right!! That is the one thing I also stress when I've talked with other FD's that do or thinking of doing EMS, if your not gonna do it right, then don't do it at all. We have all heard some of the stories of certain FD's regarding EMS. I always stress professional respect is just as high as public respect.
    I wish you the best of luck with whatever endevor you choose.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Dickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000


    Here in Eau Claire, WI we use the Medical Priority Dispatch System. This system prioritizes calls to the severity of the call.

    Alpha-Non emergency or least serious (ambulance only)
    Bravo-emergency or ukn problems, alarms (ambulance only)
    Charle-Emergency (ambulance and engine company)
    Delta-Emergency or most serious (ambulance and engine company)

    When we first implemented the paramedic program years ago we used the Alpha and Bravo responses as non-paramedic calls. For the past 5 years or so, the city and county ambulances are staffed with paramedics full time so now it determines if an engine company goes or not. In the county it doesn't really matter because first responders will respond anyway, it just lets them decide if they should run emergency mode or not.

    This system has proved over and over again to be very efficient in managing resources in the city and in the county.

    Lt.Jason Knecht
    Altoona Fire Rescue
    Altoona, WI

  10. #10
    truckrescue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002

    Default FD dispatch protocols to EMS calls

    USER BEWARE..... in Los Angeles we have been using EMS protocols for quite awhile. First set was from a Doctor Clausen, it set guidelines for the dispatcher (fireman). What question to ask, after the answer flip a card to ask another question and so on. This help the dispatcher decide what and how many personnel to send to the incident. Since Clausen we have modified it to not only help the caller but to help prevent lawsuits. Now it seems everytime a rescue goes out either a bls engine, truck or paramedic engine is dispatched along with the rescue. Now I am not saying that the extra manpower is not needed, but fo4r the most part it is an overkill. The public learns very quick on how to get help on the way, i.e. I'm having chest pain (translation been sick for 2 days)so everyone is sent. Now with this system the dispatchers have to send everyone, even if he/she feels it is bogus. The reason...they can be subject to punishment by the department. The system has its merits but be advised that it also increases the call load, wear and tear on the rigs and most important wear and tear on the guys. I feel we need to educate the public on what a real medical emergency is. Just to let you know I was a Paramedic for 19 years for LA.
    just a dumb truckie

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    S.E. Idaho


    County which career department is in responds as follows:
    Alpha: Ambulance & Engine no lights no sirens
    Bravo: Ambulance no lights no siren, Engine lights & siren
    Charlie: Ambluance no lights no siren, Engine no lights no sire, Medics lights & siren
    Delta: Ambulance, Engine, Medics lights and sirens
    Echo determinent: Everyone goes even faster then a delta response and don't ask dispatch any questions.

    County in which volunteer department is in responds as follows:
    Respond with whatever they decide and the ambulance goes lights and siren everywhere...


  12. #12
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    west coast


    In LA and some other areas they send a "Light Force" or an Engine Company on medical runs. A Light Force includes a Tiller Truck... There is a good deal of information on this subject on the official site of the organization that donates ladder trucksand engines to simi-rural departments. They are called "Hollywood Fire & Rescue Club" and they require departments to dispatch a certain way, in order to qualify for the donations of new apparatus. Anyway, their site's URL is www.HollywoodFireClub.com

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