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  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default personnel response cut backs

    This happened to anybody? The department cut back EMS responses from 1 medic and 1 engine to now 1 medic only on almost everything. This is not due to staffing shortage or a money shortfall as we have plenty of people on staff, but in an effort to keep other units available for other calls (which they may or may not get). The rank and file are opposed to this however this is not our decision. We feel this potentially puts us in a situation of not having the adequate personnel to handle some situations. Just looking for some thoughts. On a side note, no FIRE call responses have been cut back.

  2. #2
    Forum Member FyrGuy176's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    SouthEast Cleveland, Ohio


    How many do you run on your medic unit? Are you able to call for backup from the engine if you need manpower or if it's a critical call?

    My department runs 2 man squads and will roll the engine on anything that sounds serious. Also, we can request the engine anytime we feel the need. That being said, most calls are easily handled by the two man squad crew.
    Marc S.
    Solon Local 2079

    (Previously posted as Hobbitt. Registered December '02,)

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Wheaton IL


    We have the exact opposite, we run with the medics on just about everything.
    I am still a medic and it just isn't needed for most calls. I put my engine available as fast as possible to handle the next call.
    Try to find out the real reason for the change. Is it because they feel the engine doesn't do anything at these calls? Is it because they feel the medic should be able to handle the call by themselves? Do you run enough calls that other engines are always covering for the engine while it is our on an EMS run?
    Or is it just an experiment, try to find the reason and then you can build an argument to have the engines respond again (if that is what you want).
    I bet it is nice not to chase on the unknown medical at 0200 hrs.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007


    I'm not sure I understand the "problem".

    What situations are you refering to where you now won't have "adequate personnel" to handle them?

    Now I can understand the reluctance to change and that sometimes an extra pair of hands right away can be helpful, but is there some reason why you can't get the "extra" help if you think you need it?

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    There is not just 1 problem with this new response. To start I realize that a majority of the time in the past, the engine chaser was cancelled or slowed down. With that said, the minority of the times when they are needed they are between 5-10 minutes away now. So now the medic on the scene has to make a decision, concentrate on patient care, concentrate on moving the patient for transport, either way the ideal behind why we are here suffers. Our purpose as fire based ems is to get our patients to "definitive care".

    We do have control to call for additional equipment if we are given info from dispatch, however this rarley happens. What has happened since the change is that we get to a call with a 2 man medic(which in the past would have gotten a 2 man medic and a 3 man engine) and realize that that we need extra manpower but now we risk a delay because now and engine can be up to 10 minutes away.

    Maybe this will put it in perspective, your grandma is in respiratory distress ABOUT to quit breathing, she gets a 2 man medic. Your grandma, (who pays lots of taxes, highest in the area) has to completely STOP breathing before she gets any additional units dispatched. Oh by the way, she is upstairs, and it is going to be hard to move. This never happens right? Rest assured though, there are plenty of people standing by for the next call ( which we may or may not get). Or say she is having a stroke, or ami. Still only 2 people, 1 paramedic, 1 basic. Isn't time muscle?

    I do feel fortunate that we have a good size crew on duty, a lot of dept's around aren't this fortunate. My view is that the tax payers aren't getting what they are paying for, bottom line.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    We had a similar situation arise a couple of years ago. It was basically in response to a hand-full of guys bit*$ing to the chief about going on "dumb a&%" medical calls in the middle of the night for poeple that weren't having emergencies.

    We tried it, but discovered that it didn't work to well. The ambulance was requesting the engine 75 - 80 % of the time for lifting assistance, a driver, and a variety of other reasons. We found out it just worked better to send an engine, and be done with it. It lowered the total time that any unit was tied up on calls.

    For instance,

    Ambulance dispatch and response 6 minutes. Ambulance on scene 5 - 10 minutes. Ambulance requests engine non-emergency. 8 - 10 minute response from the engine company. 8 - 10 minutes on scene to move patient. 10 minute trip for ambulance to hospital. Total 37 minutes to 46 minutes to get the patient to the hospital.

    Ambulance and engine dispatch and response 6 minutes. Ambulance and Engine on scene 15 - 20 minutes. 10 minute trip to hospital. 31 minutes to 36 minutes.

    While saving only 6 - 10 minutes per call, over the course of 75 - 100 calls per day we increased ambulance availability by 450minutes (7.5 hours) to 750 minutes (12.5 hours) on light days to 600 minutes (10 hours) and 1000 minutes (16 hours) on a busy day. It was like adding or removing a "power car" each day.

    As an aside, if there was a fire call or a "true emergency" in the engines response district they are cut loose from the scene or redirected enroute unless they are going to provide a service to the patient that is going to prevent the loss of life or limb - severe trauma calls, providing a driver if both medics need to ride in back on the way to the ER, etc.

    Sorry for the stream of consciousness writing, I hope you can decipher it.

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