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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some of the issues we have is that LE is not medicly trained.........
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.
Our LE isn't medically trained either Bull. My comments are about the many different countless "fender benders" etc as opposed to a more significant accident. For the most part people can present with some minor injuries, traffic already controlled, etc where a person complains of the "sore wrist" and LE asks for EMS. To me, such an incident is fine with a single EMS unit without having a fire response.
Now, if EMS requests fire as you point out, then the hell with what LE initially thinks. I have been on fire responses with LE arriving and saying rigs can cancel......uh no.....we still send a rig to check things out. IF EMS requests fire then LE has no say, especially if they aren't medically trained. To me, dispatch should have never even questioned.

I agree. In my area if it comes through as a MVA with injury fire responds unless Law Enforcement states medical only.  Then it's up to each dept. to follow their protocall.  Most respond with all as they are Vol. depts. for scene safety since a law enforcement officer was killed on a local highway a few years ago on a vehicle fire on the highway so they make it a larger safety area now for everyones safety.

Hello JV, I am good !!! Hope you had a great holiday as well. We are on our way to being in the 21st century....LOL !!!! We have some people like everwhere else,....you know the drill...." We have always done it that way". Or my favorite....."we're only volunteers". They are getting weeded out, and everyone is finally coming together to work together.  Thanks for all the input !!!

Bull, our response to MVA's is protocol. If there is a call for a MVA in our response area and a Ambulance is dispatched we are called automatically. Many times  we are 1st response and begin basic life care before their arrival. Your right, if extrication is needed its better to be there early rather then latter. Ide rather be called and cancelled rather then not called initially and then latter called because a person is trapped. You right though. Most of this will have to be worked out with your response area and agencies you work with, This is a good reason to train and communicate with your mutual aid and other response agencies. Know each others strengths and abilities.

I agree that fire should respond to 99% of MVAs. In my district we amy be the medical personell on scene for up to fifteen minutes, depending on which ambo company is coming. Usually they repsond right out of station and arrive on scen at roughly the same time; however, if they are occupied on a call elsewhere it can take some time. We have a good relationship with LE and I believe most of them are first responder trained and can do a decent job of determining the need for medical. With that being said they rarely cancel fire or ems.

I don't know how it is in your areas, but here in the metro areas we also have a program called accident alert, mostly during snowy conditions, where LE doesn't even respond to minor fender benders. Drivers are encouaged to trade insurance info and handle it from that angle. Now don't get me wrong there is a liability issue with this system if someone is injured and does not realize it. All this system does is allow for emergency responders to be available and to concetrate on more serious incidents.








Fire and EMS are always dispatched on MVA's here, regardless of if they have entrapment or not.

 Bull, Does your department currently respond to MVAs?


Yes we do. However, if fire is not requested, we are not paged unless its a rollover. I am a emergency medical resp., so I always request fire. With our new card system going into place in Jan, Im hoping it wont be an issue anymore. Our biggest obsticle will be getting ALL of our dispatchers trained, and Im hoping that will be a minor issue. Our local ambulance is really good at requesting fire as well. The ambulance serves several differant townships in the county, which we all work really well with each other.

Without the proper training, vehicle crashes can become progressively more serious from the time of arrival of the first emergency service responder. Few law enforcement agencies are trained in the hazard potentials present in modern vehicle technology. Their job is to secure the scene to THEIR standards (level of training and policy), gather information and begin the investigative process. Many times EMS or fire are not called until well into the incident, and often only based on the officer's judgement.

We know that injuries may not be obvious, some people will not acknowledge or admit to being injured. And in many cases law enforcement has minimal  involvement or awareness of the loal fire departments training levels and capabilities. Many times it all comes down to a lack of communication, and personal opinion. Sometimes the fire department needs to take the responsibility. sometimes the lack of real training coupled with the "need" to be dispatched to am incident for the sake of running a call can create a negative image of the fire department from law enforcement stand point.


WHAT IS the reason for dispatch to every MVC? To go on a call? If fire and EMS are seperate agencies, how many firefighters have EMS training, even minimal first-aid or CPR? My department is fire/EMS and as such is dispatched on almost all vehicle crashes. Always with reported injury, and most of the time when injuries are "unknown" based on caller information, number of 9-1-1 calls, and the area. Our response is 99% with an engine company assisting EMS.

Policy is important. Even though we must update our training annually to stay abreast of new vehicle technology, many times collisisons are between vehicles of different eras of manufacturer, which results in different hazards. Often upon arrivial you will find self-extricated occupants going back inside vehicles for registration and insurance information, or police doing the same. Dual-stage air bags may be present. There are a variety of hazards that must be addressed. Vehicle stability simultaneous with keeping those outside the vehicle out, and back. Shutting down/de-energizing. Slowing / containing leaks. All are important. But we also need to remember the police have an investigation to do. A good understanding of what they need may help with an otherwise heistant police department.

Addressing fire hazards are obvious, as is extrication. But another way a trained fire department (that is seperate from the local EMS provider) can be valuable, and therefore justifiably dispatched is to help with patient care. Cervical-spinal immobolization, splinting, and other pateint care needs require several hands, especially with multiple patients. One trauma victim can easily require four skilled members to properly and efficiently package an injured person.

I have seen fire departments that want to be dispatched for vehcile crashes, yet have very little training or equipment to actually be of help. Are your department members willing to get the training, or do they feel that patient care "aint their job"? To be a valuable life-saving entity means that you have training and ability to help someone survive serious injury, and not just those "fire-oriented" calls.

You should be dispatched for your capabilities, your  training, and your equipment. Not just becouse you are the fire department and other departments respond to vehicle crashes. Can you make a difference? Or are you just going to be in the way.

Yes our firefighters have BLS training. Yes we have the proper equipment. Yes we have had training on traffic control. And most importantly...we have a big red truck to help protect the scene. And NO, its not just about getting a call. I think I covered all your questions. Thanks for your input.

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