So my agency is a smaller rural fire dept. We currently use a 2002 extra cab brush truck for medical responses but it's been problematic and is in need of being a strictly brush response unit.
First off, my chief will never purchase an ambulance. He hates the word and the association to transporting units.
So, for a while we've been considering a walk in rescue, but the latest discussion is a Suburban outfitted as an ALS unit with a reserved spot for a back board in case we need to take a patient to meet a Medivac or get them out of the weather.
Has anyone used Suburbans or Excursions as medical units and what was your thoughts on it.
I appreciate your feedback
I live in New Jersey and are medics use both Suburbans and Ambulances. Both type three and type one. And I use to own a used medic suv. It was a old MONOC Paramedic/Supervisor 2001 Chevy Suburban. it was set up great for what you described that your dept does. I also used to work for a company that built and sold medic or command conversion suv's and trucks they not only look good and professional but if built by the right company the will have plenty of room for you equipment and still have a full back seat. I worked for First Priority Emergency Vehicles But my truck was built by Odyssey Emergency Vehicles.
In my opinion, your chief needs to get over it and get ahold of an ambulance. Or your department could form a mutual aid agreement with another dept who has an ambulance or a medic entity, and then your dept can get a rescue unit.
These days there are so many EMS calls, you have to have an all our rescue apparatus. It's a must in my opinion. I know some old coots(I use that term with love because one of them is my grandpa) who were on the dept shortly after it was established in '57 and while they wanted to say "no, we're a FIRE dept" they still got a rescue rig. Then several of them went an got their EMTs and raised the importance as to the need of EMS focus as well as fire.
My dept. for example has a decent rig that holds a good amount of SCBAs, extrication equipment, hurst tools, extra forcible entry equipment, post covers, chains, fans, specialty tools, extra radios, lights, scene lights, and accident cleanup materials. Then you go into the EMS side and we have a loaded tech bag, multiple boxes of gloves, c-collars and headlocks, backboards, extra oxygen tanks, masks(rebreathers, nasal cannulas, etc), defibs, and that's nowhere near all of it. This allows our Engine to be primarily used as a water attacker. It is a fire/rescue unit though and has an EMS compartment with another fully pack bag and other must needs when it has to respond to an EMS call.
Moral of this whole response is, you HAVE to be ready to respond to EMS runs and be able to do what is needed when it's needed. Your chief needs to know this. You need to at LEAST get something like a suburban and use it as a rescue "squad." I'm not sure how others use the word "squad" but in my area this would qualify as a squad. If you figure out good storage plans, you could put quite a bit into it and it would work out very well and be an efficient responding vehicle whenever your tones drop for those difficulty breathings, strokes, or possible hearts.
If you arent a transporting agency, what we use is a ford spottrac. Can seat a crew of 5 if needed we have a hard bed cover so all our gear is in the back and stays dry, and its better on gas and not pulling another resource by driving a brush or engine. Also depends on your call types. Our department is medical call heavy but out county had buses that transport so it works for a department like that. Now if you are more fire/mva heavy it may not be the right vehicle for yall.
The rescue squad my brother belong to and now his daughter is a member of have a Suburban 4x4 they use for off road use or extra crew when needed which they call a Mobile Unit. The squad is in Virginia in Shanandoa County. The rescue squad is separate from the fire company and have their own building behind the fire station.
The squad has 3 type one ambulances, the mobile, boat, trauma trailer and medium squad truck.
The fire company has two engines, tanker, ladder truck, heavy squad and brush truck.
Other fire companies in the area that don't have ambulances will use old ambulances as medical response units but will meet rescue squad ambulances for full transport. There are still a few fire companies that won't run anything on medical calls in their area and will let the rescue squads from the next town or in their area run the calls.
There are a few fire companies and rescue sqauds that have joined as one dept in some of the areas around there in the years past.
There has been talk of the fire company and rescue squad my niece belongs to building one building together and share it in future plans along with the town police.
Well thanks all for the input, it's a great help!