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  1. #1
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs down First Responders ??? ................

    Got a question that, at least in my mind, should be wothy of some debate here. That Question is:

    Has the time come to end the use of the term "First Responders"??


    Here's my rationale:

    First Responder was a term seldom used until after 9-11-01. However since then, it seems to be one of the most abused terms in the English Language. Up Front, I'll tell you that I am a Fire Chief, and that my folks are Fire Fighters, Paramedics, EMTs, Police Officers, and so forth. They are First Responders by virtue of being the ones who respond first. Instantly is not a joke either, we're required to be on the street within ONE MINUTE of Dispatch. More recently, I've become aware of a lot of attempts by various groups trying to use the term "First Responder" to weasel into the Grant Process, to try to obtain Grant Funding from varied sources, by claiming to be "among the Nation's First Responders".

    To me, a First responder is the one who responds first. Rocket Science? not hardly. People who need days to get their stuff together and respond, cannot be in the same catagory as those who respond in split seconds. Fact. So maybe it's time we who are truely First Responders stand up and say Stop the B.S.

    Your Thoughts, Anyone??
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  2. #2
    Forum Member medicmaster's Avatar
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    The term "first responder" has always had a different meaning to me than "those who respond first."

    From the Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of EMS website:

    "First Responder (1996) (FR)
    This EMS provider level identifies individuals who have successfully completed a
    program of training that used, as a minimum, the 1979 FR national standard curriculum
    (NCS) and completed the Iowa Transition Curriculum, or the 1996 FR NSC with the
    Iowa Supplemental curriculum, and have successfully completed the testing
    requirements. Individuals certified at this level have a certification number identified
    with the letter “F”. Certification numbering used at this level is unique for identification
    purposes. First responder certificates expire September 30. Recertification requirements
    include 12 hours of approved continuing education."

    By this definition, a first responder to me is an EMS provider that responds "first" and provides initially stabilization to the ill and injured prior to arrival of an ambulance.

    I agree with you though...the term has become very overused and self-applying the term to secure grant funding is bogus.
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  3. #3
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Yup!.........

    We Agree. The term "First Responder" as used in the context of EMS, truly refers to one who responds first, and who is trained to a predetermined level, for the purpose of providing care while waiting for advanced care providers.

    I didn't name organizations, out of respect for the good things that they do.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

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  4. #4
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    Who is Grant?

    Seems like a nice bloke if everyone wants him so much.

    He must know more about dealing with incidents than Trotter and LALA Educumater combined.
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
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  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by medicmaster View Post
    The term "first responder" has always had a different meaning to me than "those who respond first."

    From the Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of EMS website:

    "First Responder (1996) (FR)
    This EMS provider level identifies individuals who have successfully completed a
    program of training that used, as a minimum, the 1979 FR national standard curriculum
    (NCS) and completed the Iowa Transition Curriculum, or the 1996 FR NSC with the
    Iowa Supplemental curriculum, and have successfully completed the testing
    requirements. Individuals certified at this level have a certification number identified
    with the letter “F”. Certification numbering used at this level is unique for identification
    purposes. First responder certificates expire September 30. Recertification requirements
    include 12 hours of approved continuing education."

    By this definition, a first responder to me is an EMS provider that responds "first" and provides initially stabilization to the ill and injured prior to arrival of an ambulance.

    I agree with you though...the term has become very overused and self-applying the term to secure grant funding is bogus.

    Exactly what he said. Same thing here in Wisconsin. The state designated a "First Responder" was the first level of EMS, right under EMT basic started back in the 1980's for rural areas. These "first responders" would respond with the ambulance and provide BLS care until the ambulance arrived.

    You are right Harve, that has always kinda ground on me.
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  6. #6
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    slow day at the firehouse chief?

    A first responder is a medical certification that falls below EMT. Generally reserved for engine co FFs or POs, it can get around. And generally means put the person on oxygen and wait for EMS.

    An emergency responder is anyone who responds to an emergency. This includes, fire fighters, EMS, police, OEM, Gas and Electric Company, any maybe even town truck drivers, depending on who you ask.

    it's only a term, one that I won't lose sleep over.
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  7. #7
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Post Explanation...............

    Quote Originally Posted by DrParasite View Post
    slow day at the firehouse chief?

    A first responder is a medical certification that falls below EMT. Generally reserved for engine co FFs or POs, it can get around. And generally means put the person on oxygen and wait for EMS.

    An emergency responder is anyone who responds to an emergency. This includes, fire fighters, EMS, police, OEM, Gas and Electric Company, any maybe even town truck drivers, depending on who you ask.

    it's only a term, one that I won't lose sleep over.

    OK......... I am NOT speaking of the Medical definition of "First Responder"

    I AM speaking of the use of the term "First Responder" in the context of defining personnel who respond to all kinds of incidents, most of which do not concern medical emergencies.

    Many folks may not be aware of it, but Politicians use "First Responder" to define all kinds of people. Dog Catchers, Health department clerks, Relocation technicians, Disaster Recovery people, etc. are among those who claim to be First Responders. I have a problem with this, since there are some who use the term "First Responder" to go after grant money, and other perks, that they would not otherwise be entitled to. THAT is the problem.

    Several weeks ago, I, along with about a dozen other uniformed Fire and Police Chiefs, attended a Senate Committee hearing regarding the upcoming700 Mhz radio spectrum auction. We were called everything but Police and Fire Chiefs, and most often referred to as First Responders.

    My point, in all of this, is that we should be recognized for who we are and what we do, and NOT be lumped in the same group with the clueless people who wouldn't recognize an emergency if it hit them over the head. Yes, the same clueless people who want YOUR Grant money.

    (Side Note to Dan...... There are NO slow days in my life.... )
    Last edited by hwoods; 07-29-2007 at 12:42 PM.
    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

  8. #8
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrParasite View Post
    A first responder is a medical certification that falls below EMT.
    Same down here. I do see the point about people using the term that shouldnt be. Just not sure how to fix it...
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  9. #9
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    OK......... I am NOT speaking of the Medical definition of "First Responder"
    FWIW, Chief, I know exactly what you mean. I've noticed some interesting "creep" in the definition of "first responder" ever since post 9-11 paranoia lapsed into post 9-11 greed for grant money...

    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    I have a problem with this, since there are some who use the term "First Responder" to go after grant money, and other perks, that they would not otherwise be entitled to. THAT is the problem.
    Agreed. I was surprised not all that long ago to learn that one of our local hospitals (One that I, personally, wouldn't send my worst eneny to for anything worse than a hangnail...) had received a "first responder" grant!

    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Yes, the same clueless people who want YOUR Grant money.
    This is where the absence of a strong federal agency representing the fire service with one voice has once more bitten us in the a- ... erm .... "nether regions". Grant money that should be going to the fire service for doing the same jobs it's been doing for decades is now up for grabs to anyone bold enough to claim to be a "first responder" under Homeland Security...

    Our greatest failing is that we, as the US Fire Service, can't seem to agree on anything long enough to get up any real, durable political clout at the national level.
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