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Thread: Combo Companies

  1. #1
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    Default Combo Companies

    If anyone is able to help me...I am looking for the pros and cons of running combo companies, using the same staffing to run a fire and an EMS unit. If anyone has references upon which they base their opinions please include those.

    I am thinking of asking our members to negotiate for additional manpower in this next contract, but it may require combining our engine companies with Medic units and taking over EMS transport from a private ambulance company.

    We are already combining our ladder company with our only Medic unit, but only staffing both with 2 people - crazy!

    Thanks, Lt. Benson911


  2. #2
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    There are 5 Fulltime Members including my-self working for a volunteer company. - Our main responsibility is to make sure the BLS Unit is staffed but there are loop-holes....Such as We respond the BLS Unit to all reported Structure Fires in District...We carry our Gear and have S.C.B.A. Mounted on the Bus upon arrival at a working alarm we are automaticly committed to Supression unless entrapment or injuries are present than we go into EMS Mode. - Out of district we ride the engine, ladder, rescue, ect....as long as volunteer staffing is short {Which it usually is} So really we staff what we need - If both duty personnel are on the fire truck we go into "By-Pass" mode for EMS Assignments util we return - That way another staffed duty bus handles the area

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    Saint Paul, MN does what you are talking about. I believe that they are called engine-medic units. If there is a fire call they all hop in the engine and if it is a medical response they all jump in the medic unit (guys from St. Paul correct me if I'm wrong).

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    Saint Paul, MN does what you are talking about. I believe that they are called engine-medic units. If there is a fire call they all hop in the engine and if it is a medical response they all jump in the medic unit (guys from St. Paul correct me if I'm wrong).

  5. #5
    Forum Member REMSCHIEF's Avatar
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    LT.

    Take a trip over to Stark County. Jackson Township has combo companies at all 4 of the outlying stations. A Capt. and 2 FF/Medics. Whichever call comes in first is what truck they respond in. The next closest station becomes first up for the next call in that district too.

    You guys with only 2 stations may have a few small speedbumps, but I think combo-ing stat 2 would be economical. The remaining guys could then be staffed at 1's for an additional medic/truck co.

    As far as BFD transporting...Go for it! I think the community would rally around you guys just to have their own guys take them to the ER (seriously...you ride in enough now to get an idea how many times both medic trucks are out of service.)

    You guys do deserve to get at least 2 more per shift, but I have been impressed by you working a fully involved structure with 8 guys (I'm a former Summit guy)...be proud of what you do now, and look for ways to better serve the community.

    Good luck.

    Andy

  6. #6
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    Default

    Thanks to all for the replies.

    REMSCHIEF, we did increase manning to 9 on our last contract (even that is way too few) and we are using Mutual Aid more. My plan (if accepted) will increase manning to 10 right away and add more as the EMS billing revenue increases to try to get to 4 man companies and 13 minimum per shift(2 Engine/Medic, 1 Ladder/Medic and a Shift Commander). I'm also hoping to fund three new stations with grant money to replace our current old and poorly positioned two Sta design. We'll see.

    Lt. Benson

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    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Not much to offer -- Auburn, MA has been following this route for several years now. http://www.auburnmassfire.org/ Mainly follow them a bit since I drive through their town every day!

    Used to contract with a private ambulance. IIRC they started using the private's rig even and staffing more and more time as they hired f/t firefighters.

    Combination of a small career force, small on-call and part-time force, and a small college-student bunk-in force at the West Street station.
    IACOJ Canine Officer
    20/50

  8. #8
    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
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    Default

    GreatPlains is correct, we dual staff our 11 of our engines and medic rigs. At least 2 people are medics. For us, it has been working well. Nice to have 4 people on scene, especially with critical calls, heavy patients, bringing people down stairs and etc. the only real draw back is every now and then you will miss a fire because you are on the box. There is now way to sugar coat this- that just plain sucks, but it is part of the job.
    The biggest result of this staffing, we average a 24-26% cardiac survivability to the ER. Not bad concidering the nation average is about 4%.
    EMS is 80% of what we do, everybody knows this. With this system, it has allowed us to keep our staffing at an acceptable level to do the job.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
    George Mason
    Co-author of the Second Amendment
    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
    Elevator Rescue Information

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    Dal90 - Thanks for your reply and don't I know you from posting way back in the 90's?

    SPFDRum - Thanks for bringing up the better service to the customer angle. I mentioned that to the powers that be, but the cardiac survivability rate improvement will define what improved service means to real people.

    Lt. Benson911

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