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Fire departments that embrace the EMS mission dedicate more than sufficient resources to the mission. The attitude from the administration is that EMS is a vital and necessary part of what the department does. In these departments, it is a requirement you are, or you will become, an EMT or a paramedic and maintain that status throughout your career. As a result, most if not all firefighters in these departments are EMTs or paramedics. These departments also provide EMS transport. If a department does not provide EMS transport, it is always looking for opportunities to do so.
The bottom line when it comes to determining what category your fire department falls into is to look at the administration. The administration of your department will set the tone. It will not tolerate, tolerate, accept or embrace the EMS mission.
Into what category does your department fall?
GARY LUDWIG, MS, EMT-P, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is a deputy fire chief with the Memphis, TN, Fire Department. He has 30 years of fire-rescue service experience. Ludwig is chairman of the EMS Section for the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), has a master's degree in business and management, and is a licensed paramedic. He is a frequent speaker at EMS and fire conferences nationally and internationally, and can be reached through his website at www.garyludwig.com.