All firefighters are trained to provide at least basic emergency medical treatment. Certain types of medical emergencies require more than the standard two members of an ambulance crew for lifting assistance, carrying equipment, and otherwise assisting the medic personnel on scene to better serve the patient.
There are times a fire truck arrives at an incident first because it is the closest emergency unit to the scene and we are committed to getting help to your location as fast as possible. As mentioned above, firefighters are trained to provide basic emergency medical treatment. About 50% of the department is trained in advanced life support (ALS) care. Since there are only three paramedic units in the City, firefighters respond to all calls involving life-threatening symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, chest pains, and severe bleeding. They can initiate treatment to stabilize patients and provide information to the paramedics en route to the call so they will be aware of any additional equipment that will be needed on the scene.