Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    34

    Default FD EMS staffing questions for the group

    I would like to hear from the group on how your dept.'s staff your ambulances... ie are your ambulance positions permenant, or do you rotate personel back and forth between fire companies and EMS units...

    Are your ambulance personel firefighters who do EMS and respond to fire alarms also, or strictly civilians working for the FD answering EMS calls.

    We prefer to hear from paid departments that operate EMS with ambulances staffed with FF/EMT, FF/Inter. and FF/Medics.

    We are a career/union fire dept. in southern Indiana which provides Fire/EMS to app. 45,000 citizens with first responder engine co.'s and ALS ambulances.

    Some of our members have voiced their displeasure about working the ambulances and want to get off of them and go to an engine co. because they feel like they are "stuck" on the ambulance with no hope of getting off and moving over to a fire co.

    We only have a limited number of EMT and ALS personel available to maintain our current level of service.

    Word thru the gossip train is, if the staffing issue can't be solved the ambulances will be staffed with civilians, or privatized and removed totally from the fire dept. with a reduction in manpower and salaries.

    We don't want to loose our ambulances because we feel we have an excellent EMS program in place that has worked well for years.

    Anyone care to share your way of doing things with us???

    I posted this in the EMS area also but more people are looking at this forum here, so I hope this dosen't upset anyone!

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

    pc


  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    259

    Default

    Let's see...I work in a city of approx. 250,000 people...Dallas suburb...and like most cities around here, we have fire based EMS.

    We staff our ambo's with 2 firefighter/paramedics. Thankfully, the majority of our FF's are medics. This allows us to rotate the guys off the ambulance and onto engine's or trucks. One ambulance is dispatched on the first alarm of all structure fires and they are assigned firefighting functions on scene, unless we have patients on arrival. If we have a major working fire, we usually call in a second ambulance to do rehab and medical monitoring of firefighting crews.

    The ill-feelings your guys are having towards riding the box is not terribly uncommon. Even with our crew rotation we have our fair share of complaining about EMS...even if it's the engine responding on the EMS call...

    Good Luck!

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    2,503

    Default

    Chicago has 59 ALS ambo's and 12 BLS rigs. The ALS are staffed by single role paramedics. The bls (this program is only 4 or 5 years old) are staffed by FF/emts. The als program seems to work fine with the exception that many rigs are way over worked (20+ runs a shift - 24 hr) The bls program was forced on the FF and is not so happy. Many FF are dropping their emt licenses with the city (myself included, so I'm biased) because they hate the bls ambos. My feeling is that all ambos should be ALS. All ambos should be staffed with single role paramedics. When you try to mix the jobs, it doesn't seem to work. The vast majority of FF don't want anything to do with ambos. People who sign up to be paramedics sign up because they enjoy the work and are happy on the ambos. I really don't see a happy medium between the two jobs. Just my opinion.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    26

    Default

    PC,

    I work for a career dept in the suburbs of Chicago. We staff two ALS ambulances with two EMT-Ps and two ALS engines with at least one EMT-P. Our min. staffing is 12/day. Currently, we do not have assigned positions. There is almost always some type of rotation (limited or not). Typically, senior guys get the engine/truck/squad positions, and new guys are on the box. Some shifts/houses are more rigid about their rotation...my shift/house is pretty laid back.

    15 yrs ago, my department had the same problem you're having. My Lt. spent the better part of 15 yrs on the ambulance due to the lack of paramedics. Basically, those medics had to bide their time and wait for the old FFs to retire. When new guys came on the job, they went to the box, and everyone moved up the ladder.

    Personally, I like the Ambulance. I get out of the station more often and I'm busier. Our ambulances go on all fire calls and we function as FFs, not EMS. We can be assigned anything, from search to pulling a backup line. A new policy will bring in a mutual aid ambulance for EMS. Our min. staffing isn't that great...we need the ambulance crews and auto aid companies to round out our response.

    Do your ambulances roll on fire calls? What is their function? Maybe offering up some fireground responsibilities would ease the problem.
    Also, are the FF/medics in question union members? I think it would be easy to see that bringing contract medics into your dept. would be a bad idea. Once they're in...it'll be difficult to get them out.

    One of the first things I learned was not to complain about my job. As a new guy, if I complained about being on the box...I'd never see the engine. New guys need to suck it up and put in our time. Eventually, we'll get our turn.

    Good luck

    FCDave24

  5. #5
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Gator Country
    Posts
    4,157

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoFF
    When you try to mix the jobs, it doesn't seem to work. The vast majority of FF don't want anything to do with ambos. People who sign up to be paramedics sign up because they enjoy the work and are happy on the ambos. I really don't see a happy medium between the two jobs. Just my opinion.
    Here the FF's dont mind the FD ambulances (called rescues here), what they dont want anything to do with is transporting. We (FD) dont transport unless its an MCI. Transport is handled by a private through an ALS contrat with county EMS.

    Only the busiest FDs run rescues, the rest run ALS engines. I dont have the numbers in front of me, but out of 60+ engines about 40 are ALS.

    As for the rescues, they are staffed by one FF/Medic and one FF/EMT or two FF/Medics. My department doesnt have any rescues, but as far as I know the ones that have do rotate between the rescue and engines/trucks.

    We also have units in the county that average around 20 calls per 24hr shift and on these units the crews bid for the assignment, as hard as that is for me to imagine. Who in their right mind wants to run 20 calls in a shift?
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    2,503

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1983
    We also have units in the county that average around 20 calls per 24hr shift and on these units the crews bid for the assignment, as hard as that is for me to imagine. Who in their right mind wants to run 20 calls in a shift?
    I'll take 20 fire calls - you can keep the ambo runs!!!!!

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    2,503

    Default

    P.S. All our ambos transport. We also have ALS engines, but I have no clue how many. All I know is I'm not on one!

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    34

    Default

    We are not short on "winers" thats for sure...

    My dept. has been providing some sort of EMS since the 50's and has evolved into what it is today... a very good ALS transport service.

    We have been recoginzed by the state on numerous occaisions for different things in regards to our EMS service whether it be pilot programs or implementing new equipment of some sort.

    Our Ambulance personel (we staff two "boxes" with FF/EMT Inter.) respond to fire alarms too.

    Our first alarm consits of 2 engines, 1 truck, 1 ambulance squad, and a Batt. Chief.

    The ambo crews do mostly truck work at a fire, or take the RIT job.

    They carry some basic truck tools on the squads such as irons, hooks, and cans, along with their SCBA.

    I don't understand some of these guys we have here. They knew coming in here we ran EMS and then they only want to work a year or so on the squad and then want off.

    I think everyone should have to do their time on the ambulance if your dept has one... I did 7 years on ours before getting off.

    If we loose these ambulances we will loose manpower no doubt.

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    2,503

    Default

    The difference is that when the last test was given here it was for the position of Firefighter. The EMT program snuck in about five years after the test and was a surprise to those coming on. The argument that "it's part of the job you took" doesn't really apply here. It was not part of the job until very recently.

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    191

    Talking

    Where I work all the sworn fulltime employee's need to be paramedics and since we are jump companies we just get to go on everything. Our problem is we are way undermanned for how busy we are but that's another story. Sounds like what you guys need to do is make it a condition of employment to be a paramedic or basic or whatever you guys run and then set up a rotation like 3 days on the ambo and 4 days off or what ever and the benefit of having everybody certified is then you can expand to things like ALS engines or something just remember it's not really about us it's about the people that pay for us to have this awesome job.
    Last edited by TRUCK61; 12-14-2005 at 10:25 PM.

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    34

    Default

    I appreciate the comments so far... Thanks.

    We are a small community compared to Chicago... and if the ambulance runs stop, we will only make around 1200 runs a year total and the word is out that we will loose manpower.

    I do agree it is mostly about the citizens, but reducing manpower comprimises our safety on the fireground also.

    There are other issues that affect our situation also that I won't go into, but one of them you can probably guess is the "P" word... Politics.

  12. #12
    Forum Member FHandz15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    St. Louis County, MO
    Posts
    201

    Default

    We run either 1 or 2 ALS ambo's in a 3 station district depending on manpower day to day......

    - usually 2 EMT-P's

    - 1 ambo on all 1st alarms, can do fire work if needed, EMS if needed

    - ambo carries SCBA, small hand tools, TIC

    - each crew rotates differently, my station/crew does 2 days ambo, 1 day engine....some crews never rotate, depends on the "senior" medics "generosity" LOL....

    - safe to say almost everybody HATES the ambos, me included.

    - we took over ALS transport a few years back from a private, no extra people, no extra salary, no extra budget....only extra liability and headaches.

    You will always have anamosity bewteeen FF's and medics if they are both FD based. The best system is to have the ambo's private or civilian, or just seperate staffing like Chicago so you KNOW which truck you are on when you go to work, no surprises!

    Last shift the ambo was out 3 times after mid-night, and the engine was all snug in their beds (10 degrees).......which truck do you want to ride? LOL

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    2,503

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PUMPERCAPTAIN
    I appreciate the comments so far... Thanks.

    We are a small community compared to Chicago... and if the ambulance runs stop, we will only make around 1200 runs a year total and the word is out that we will loose manpower.

    I do agree it is mostly about the citizens, but reducing manpower comprimises our safety on the fireground also.

    There are other issues that affect our situation also that I won't go into, but one of them you can probably guess is the "P" word... Politics.
    Ya gotta do what you gotta do. Especially if manning is at stake. Ambos here dont go to fires. If you are on the band aid box you stick to ems. You don't have to miss too many fires riding the ambo before you begin to feel a little bitter. Maybe not right, just the way it is (here, anyway!)

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    644

    Default

    We run with 9 EC units to cover 260,000 residents. Each staffed with 2 paramedics and an EMT/Paramedic student. There are seven ALS engine companies and each piece of apparatus has a small ALS kit (first round drugs and airway supplies) just in case a paramedic is riding that truck. Our Shift Commander has a list of all the medics (officers and FF) and takes a few of the assigned medics off per shift and replaces them with personnel from the fire line. Our medics are on the ECs for about 5 years before they are replaced with fresh meat.

    What cracks me up is how "burnt out" a medic with less than one year on the truck becomes. When I made the jump we only had 6 ECs on the road and averaged 18 runs a day, not the 11.5 they do today...guess they don't make them like they used to.

    The government recently released the next hiring process. Requiring the recruit to complete their paramedic and maintain it throughout their career. However...our contract states they only have to maintain EMT status...can't wait to see how this goes...

  15. #15
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Post Well............

    Your Biggest problem is not all members are at least EMT-B Certified. (or that's appears to be the case anyway) And being in a City of only 45,000 is certainly not a good thing if you are, and wish to remain, a fully paid department. My department is First due to about 17,000 people, and run on Automatic Aid in areas with another 65,000. 1 ALS and 1 BLS Ambulances, 2 Engines, 1 Heavy Rescue, and 1 Tower Ladder are staffed by 2 Fulltime Medics 24/7 and 5 Fulltime EMTB/Firefighters work A "Daywork" schedule of 8hours per day, weekdays only. Nights, Weekends, Holidays are strictly Volunteer Staffed. The 2 Medics are working only on the medic unit, they do not do anything else. We ran 7,316 calls last year. With your call volume, I don't see how a fully paid Operation can be justified.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  16. #16
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Gator Country
    Posts
    4,157

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoFF
    I'll take 20 fire calls
    I'll pass. The young pups can run the 20.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  17. #17
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Gator Country
    Posts
    4,157

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FHandz15
    You will always have anamosity bewteeen FF's and medics if they are both FD based.
    Totaly different here. There is no anamosity among the fire crews. Every FF is either EMT or paramedic and everyone runs EMS calls at some point.

    The anamosity here is between the fire crews and the privates working for the county.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. World Of Fire Report: 01-27-05
    By PaulBrown in forum World of Fire Daily Report
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-29-2005, 07:55 AM
  2. 2004 IAFC report on the voluteer fire service
    By HeavyRescueTech in forum Volunteer Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-02-2004, 09:55 AM
  3. World Of Fire Report: 03-11-04
    By PaulBrown in forum World of Fire Daily Report
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-12-2004, 06:40 AM
  4. PG COUNTY MD
    By rfd241 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 305
    Last Post: 02-23-2001, 01:07 AM
  5. EMS and the Fire Service: The Impact on the PGFD
    By bostonff in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-21-2001, 09:16 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts