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  1. #1
    Forum Member Svfman's Avatar
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    Default Help, I need SOG's and advice!!

    This may get lengthy but i will try to keep it short for now.
    We are a town of about 10,000 people in town, and probably 4,000 out of town. We cover an 18 miles of interstate that run along the edge of town, and two highways equalling about 11 miles, that are busy. We cover a canyon road that is super curvy and people drive like idiots on. My department is all volunteer, we have two rescue trucks, a suburban and an engine or brush truck responding to car accidents w/ injuries. The ambulance service is a completely seperate entity from the city or fire dept.

    The problem being, most of the accidents with injuries, dispatch pages the ambulance, notifies the cops and thats it. I am sure they do alot of call taking and stuff. For a typical accident, dispatch waits for a cop to get on scene to tell her if they need extrication.
    We have had to wait as long as 21 minutes to be dispatched to an accident so we could extricate the pt. and the ambulance could transport.

    What do you guys do?? Do the cops get to dictate to your department when you can and when you can not go to accidents. We are trying to get it so at the very least we are paged out for calls on interstate and the highways.
    A senior firefighter does not see it that way, and neither does his wife, who is the senior dispatcher!!! They like how it works now and think that an average response time of 14.4 mintutes is acceptable. I think that we could cut that time in half if we were paged once the ambulance was paged.
    Oh, and the chief does not see that there needs to be a change either, but a few of us young bucks think a little differently, and thats why the chief asked us to figure out something different, and pass it on to him and the rest of the department. If you could email the sog's you guys have and post any advice that would be really great. My email is svfdengine1@hotmail.com, if i have time i will pass along the other excuses the other people have for not going to accidents. Thanks guys
    Ryan


  2. #2
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Quick question - how many accidents are there and what low percentage actually require extrication? Last year, my EMS was dispatched to about 400 MVA's, only 1 required extrication. That would be an awful lot of calls to be dispatched on when not necessary. Most of our PD is trained to EMT level, so once they are there, they can make a fairly quick decision on whether extrication is needed. Good Luck.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  3. #3
    Forum Member Svfman's Avatar
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    I cannot give you a good percentage, but I know that there are not many that need actual extrication,but, if we can get there that much sooner on a few MVA to do extrication, that expedites the pts transport to the hospital. And even if we dont do extrication at every call there still might be fluid cleanup, fire hazard, and even traffic control if need be.
    The police here want nothing to do with ems or fire. They show up, do some traffic control and thats about it, dont get me wrong, they are great guys, but sometimes they are just too shorthanded to do some stuff.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber ROOKIELZ's Avatar
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    In our Dept, the Ambulance is a whole different entity. For an MVA they are dispatched first. If extrication is needed, we are then dispatched. Because we are bush babies, our coverage is roughly 400 sq. miles. On most occasions, our response time is within 10 minutes due to the fact that most MVA's are on the highway running alongside our town. We have excellent rapport with the Ambulance, personal and professional. The Police maintain a professional appearance at all times and demonstrate respect and will do anything we request.

    I think we've got it pretty good~!!

  5. #5
    Forum Member cellblock's Avatar
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    Serving 14,000 people with Interstates, highways and canyon roads and you are fully volunteer? Congradulations.
    If your firefighters are trained to at least First Responder level and depending on the response time of the EMS agency you may have a valid argument for being dispatched to all MVAs with injuries.
    Years ago we had a simular problem with the sheriffs deputies being sent to wrecks and even fire alarms without the fire department being paged out. This delays our response and care to any patients. It took many meetings with the 911 supervisors and the Fire Chiefs to get the point across that it is better to have the fire departments enroute and cancel them if it's determined that they aren't needed. Our ALS treatment and transport is handled by a private agency which contracts with the Parish(county). Responce times average 20 minutes to our area so the Fire Department is paged out for all wrecks with injuries. We send out Rescue/service truck which has the Hurst tools and medical gear. We also roll a pumper to have a charged handline during extracation and to speed up scene cleanup by doing washdowns. The pumper also makes a excellant saftey barrier by blocking traffic around the wreck. Another advantage of having the first responders on every wreck with injuries is to assist the ambulance company with patient care and handeling which comes in handy when there are multiple patients. Tasks like maintaining c-spine immobilization, taking vitals, providing oxygen, helping with moving patients and getting equiptment such as strechers or backboards are tasks that can be done by First Responders. This frees up the ambulance paramedic to establish IVs, admin meds and perform other ALS interventions.
    The hardest part is probably going to be changing the mindset of everyone who has been doing it the same was for years and see no reason to change. Mistakes will still happen. Our dispatchers are supposed to page us out for anything which would have the ambulance coming with it's lights and sirens on. We are supposed to get there, begin patient care and then radio updated information regarding the patients conditions to the ambulance. Yet there are still times when I'm working a shift at the fire station when an ambulance will go screaming by and we had no clue that there was an emergency in our district. This past week I listened to the local Sheriffs department get dispatched to an "Unresponsive Patient" in a neighboring district. The Fire Department was not dispatched until the deputy had gotten on scene and walked in to find that the patient was indeed laying on the floor, unconscious after having a seizure, and told his dispatcher that "maybe you should have the First Responders paged out".
    Of course, If your department already has a pretty heavy call volume, the reason the Chief may be opposed to taking on the additional task of responding to EVERY wreck with injuries is that he is afraid that his volunteers will be overwhelmed and over worked with the addition of these calls. Our combination department faced this problem last year when the board addressed the fact that we were loosing members who quit running after several bad 'wreck with fatality' calls or who weren't responding because of the minor 'stubbed toe' BS calls. The board actually voted to cease running EMS calls and concentrate on fire and rescue including wrecks requiring extracation. The Fire Chief overruled the Board and we continue to get paged for EMS calls. Often nobody will respond to these pages. I was out of town a week ago when a 'Chest Pains' call was paged out. Even though 911 paged the Fire Department 3 times, none of our people responded. The ambulance arrived from Baton Rouge 20 minutes later. Even though AirMed had been dispatched to the call there were no FFs to set up a night landing zone so it circled a couple of times and then flew back to it's pad in Baton Rouge. Of course, the next day the Chief is at a call and asks those who responded, "Why didn't anyone go to that chest pain call last night?" What can I say? I didn't even know about it since I was in Baton Rouge at a Ham Radio Club meeting. When you only have 6 or 7 volunteer First Responders and they may be at work or out of the district, and off the pager, for one reason or another then you have to decide which is worse, Promise a service that you may not always be able to provide or don't provide the service at all. Our Chief has decided that we will be paged out regardless and there may be times when no FF/FRs respond and the Ambulance service, which is the primary EMS agency anyway, will have to handle the call alone.
    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
    Steve
    EMT/Security Officer

  6. #6
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    Check out Responder Safety for some examples of why it is a good idea to have a large apparatus such as an engine on all MVAs to serve as a barrier device and increase scene safety.

    Here's my department's SOG for Roadway Incident Safety

    Your police department should be onboard for this also, after all, more cops are killed in secondary "struck by" incidents than any other emergency responders.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

  7. #7
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    Hi. My dept. is similar being all volunteer with a light rescue,heavy rescue, pumpers etc. Every accident with or with possible injuries we get paged out. Sometimes the patient is a sign off, but more often than not they're going to the hospital to be checked out. That "Golden Hour" is so very important, to waste all that time is incredible. We need to get medical attention to our citizens A.S.A.P. How would you feel if it were your brother, sister or other family member hurt and waiting for medical attention.

  8. #8
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bones42
    Last year, my EMS was dispatched to about 400 MVA's, only 1 required extrication. That would be an awful lot of calls to be dispatched on when not necessary.
    that and the fact that the 911 dispatchers are supposed to ask the caller if there is anyone trapped in the car.
    Oh, and the chief does not see that there needs to be a change either
    well, that is a big problem. if he says no, then you don't have a leg to stand on. if he was for it, you could probably write a letter to the chief of public safety or the dispatch center and get the policy changed.

    My department (and I think Bones's is the same way) only gets dispatched to MVCs with reported entrapment, rollovers, or involving fires. my EMS squad responded to 391 MVCs last year, and add about 300 more that our commecial back up service too during the daytime. of that, I would guess (and I don't have the numbers in front of me) maybe 75 required extrication. our call volume is currently 800 FIRE calls a year. could you imagine if we rolled to every MVC? our call volumes would DOUBLE. I don't blame the chief for not wanting it. it's more calls for a volunteer system, and if 90% of the cases, there is no extrication needed. Paid departments do it because it justifies their call volume. volunteers sometimes do it when they run first response to ALL calls, especially when the ambulance always comes from out of town or typically has a lenghty response. It's also an added liability and an added expense (think fuel).

    while it might sounds good, you have to look at it from all angles
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

  9. #9
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    We have a county wide als ambulance department so for most all MVA 2 trucks are dispatched along with an ambulance and the supervisor for the ambulance district. All trucks carry backboards which are exchangeable with the ambulance units. The first units on scene have authority to disregard any other incoming units if they are not needed or call for more.

  10. #10
    Forum Member Svfman's Avatar
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    that and the fact that the 911 dispatchers are supposed to ask the caller if there is anyone trapped in the car.
    You cannot always rely on bystander information, i will give you too good examples of why,
    1. A lady calls 911 saying that there is a fire in her fireplace, and she was totally calm, by the time the dispatcher toned us out and we were on scene in 5 minutes, it was fully envolved.
    2. Car accident w/ injuries on interstate, RP tells the dispatcher that the car hit the bridge, what he didnt tell her is that the car had flipped twice and then bounced off the bridge, She asked about people in the car and he said no, well he didnt look very well because there was a victim w/ a scalp laceration. EMS had to wait another 15 minutes so we could get there and extricate.

    Oh, and the chief does not see that there needs to be a change either
    well, that is a big problem. if he says no, then you don't have a leg to stand on.
    That is why our chief asked us to come up w/ some ideas to make a change. In my Department, anything to do w/ SOG's is put together by commitee and voted in by the department. Everyone can vote the way they want to.

  11. #11
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    its different for us since our coverage area isn't one like ya'll in the sticks but usually an accident goes out, the police get there, they call medic's and then the medic calls us. You can tell over the radio when a rescue box is comming.
    Bucks County, PA.

  12. #12
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    We are a town of 6500 covering 38sq miles(volunteer).

    We are dispatched to any mva with reported injuries .All trained to first responder level. Ambulance is seperate.


    Number #1 Priority(regardless of extrication) is SCENE SAFETY!!!

    I bet if there was a fluid leak or battery arc your PD or ambulance would want you there.

    Just my .02

  13. #13
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    We have an all volunteer department as well. In our coverage area we don't have too many major roadways. Given that we do have a few accidents. I don't know how the laws are written in your state, but I am about 99% sure that in ohio a fire department has command at any accident, and we are the first ones to recieve word of it, and then the state highway patrol is called to do there accident reports. The highway patrol also is in charge of traffic direction. There have been a few times where a patrolman has challenged our command, but they seem to back down if the IC knows what he is talking about in terms of state law...
    But hey, what do I know, I am just a simple firefighter...

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