Ok, I see there was a topic about to many "safe" topics, and not enough educational info. So........with that in mind, my question is.......what is your thoughts on Fire Depts bieng paged to every MVA that EMS is called to ??? My opinion is that they should be paged. My reasoning is this....#1 priority is scene safety, use the big red truck to block the scene or the whole roadway.  #2 reason is, you are never really sure if you need extrication, possible fire hazard, traffic contol, extra manpower, etc.....#3 is time matters. Around the rural areas, response times are not like the big city, within 3-5 min. We have alot of areas where there is a 30 to 40 min response time because of the size of the coverage area, If it takes you 25 min to get on scene, and your size up tells you that you need extrication, your wait time is another 25 min for fire dept. Thats not good !!!! Why not just get them enroute right away, instead of waiting and putting someone's life in jeapordy, whether its the patients or emergency personels life ??? Just curious to see what others thoughts on this are, and I know its going to be differant because of our differant coverage areas, what works for some, may not work or be right for others.......let the debate begin......

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I agree with the sentiment and don't see a reason as to why not having a FD sent. The only time I would say it doesn't need to be done is if LE is already on scene and they requested EMS to "check out" a patient, where the pt has only minor complaints. For the most part in such situations there is no need for an emergency response, nor a need for fire on scene either. However, if the call comes in as an initial dispatch, then may as well send fire. We do have such a set up that at least an engine will go with an ambo for an MVA....only difference is those "check out a pt" call for a minor MVA with PD already on scene.

I agree with you both 100%. It's better to be safe than sorry.

In my coverage area we are called to every MVA and many of them turn out to be minor or don't need extrication but that is where scene safety comes in like you said Bull, and an engine can really help out with that. Another plus out of it for us is that being 100% volunteer, members may not work with the ambulance crew enough to establish a good relationship with each medic so the more we work with them, the better.

John, you make a good point too about if PD is on scene and only asks for an ambulance crew, then yea, fire is not always needed. But, in our area, untill it's known for sure we are not needed fire is sent.

We have a nearby fd that refuses to be called to 'unkown injury' MVA's on the highway because they don't want to send their members to the highway to chase the call unless an injury is certain. There are alot of members in my fd and others nearby that don't understand the reasoning they do this. Their response times aren't fast and like you said Bull, it can cause a serious delay in pt care when really needed.

A past Chief of my department has said before that "It's better to have too many resources on the way than not enough. You can always turn them around instead of having to call more in when it's too late."

John, some of the issues we have is that LE is not medicly trained. And more often than not, when we get called for minor injuries, they seem to turn out worse than what it is. A few years back they were'nt even calling ambulance for some accidents. Well....it turned out that 4 of them accidents resulted in broken necks or vertabrea. The people said they were alright, and they took the word of the patient, without the proper asessment. Just the other day we got called for 1 car in the ditch, with a sore wrist. When we got there, turned out there was 3 patients, and all were complaining of neck and back pain. I know our dispatchers only give us info that they get, but like us...they are not on scene when the page goes out. You never really know what you got until you get there. Im sure its like that everywhere else as well. Its more of a safety issue to me. But I understand where your coming from. Thanks for the input.

That's a tough situation Bull.

What do the ambulance crews think of whats going on?

Is there a way your chief (and any others that wanted to) could go to the dispatch center and have them change it so fire is always dispatched with the ambulance?

With the extended times it sounds like your local fd's have in responses, that might help with things.

I forgot to mention, that the call with the sore wrist.....they did not page fire originally. The ambulance crew requested fire, but dispatch said that officer on scene said its not needed. Ambulance then asked for it again for scene safety, and then they finally did page fire. And Im glad they did. It was on a very busy highway, just over the crest of a hill. They parked there engine in the lane of on coming traffic and protected all of us, which again...was very much needed there. And it was great to have the extra manpower, since we had 3 patients, not just 1.


We just formed a county wide emergency responder association, which I am the president, and Im working on getting auto-mutual aid in place. I have all the FD, Ambulance, Sheriff, and the town boards signatures on the new dispatch policy. We are hoping to impliment it by Jan 1st of 2012. We all will make up our call cards for fires, mva's, etc......And then they will page accordingly.

Not much of an argument if you live by the philosophy that you can always turn responding units around, canceling unneeded resources. And for fire incidents, this concept is reinforced by staging responding apparatus and resources at a specified location close to the incident.
Failure to prepare is preparing for failure. Be prepared.


I think it is a prudent idea to dispatch a standard response for an MVA - ambulance, fire and LE.


However, in our area the county 911 call taker uses his/her discretion as to what is needed at the scene, from the information gotten from the caller. Lots of times the experience of the dispatcher results in the appropriate folks being dispatched; but not always.


Often, LE is dispatched if no injuries are reported. Once on scene the LEO may ask for fire or EMS.  If they only want a "checkover" we send ambulance AND a pumper despite the dispatcher's protestations.



You are not alone... Many of us are fed up with the lack of... Substance and nonsensical forum posts. I encourage others to follow Joe Stoltz's lead by reviewing past forum posts, and commenting to "bump" the post, making it a better topic selection for folks to lazy to search.

Ya, I'm not saying call everyone in the area for a small fender bender. But if your riding that line of "should I/shouldn't I call for more resources" it can't hurt to have a few more hands coming just to make sure.

I'd rather be safe than sorry Mike.

Sounds like things are headed in the right direction and all the involved are in the same line. Good luck, hope it works out Bull.

  MVA = Fire Dept. Responds.

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