EMS OPERATIONS

The City of Fond du Lac Fire Department or FDLFD, serves the community in protecting the lives and property of those who live, work and play here.  The core functions of the FDLFD to ensure this security are fire protection and pre-hospital emergency medical services or EMS.  Community fire protection has been a priority since this country was founded and shares an equal amount of colorful history and tradition.  EMS was only recognized as a priority within the last 50 years.  Click here to read more about the history of EMS.  FDLFD responds to many emergency calls in order to protect the lives and property of the people who live and work here.  The most frequent request is for emergency medical service or EMS.  The FDLFD responded to a total of 3961 EMS calls in 2009.  The community has seen a steady increase in the number of EMS calls since the program was implemented in 1974.  In comparison, there were 2867 EMS calls in 1999 amounting to a 38% increase over ten years.

 

EMS in the FDLFD is provided by personnel cross trained in both firefighting and EMS.  Each shift member is not only a firefighter but is certified by the State of Wisconsin to the minimum level of Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B).  Crews assigned to daily duty on the ambulance are certified by the State of Wisconsin to the level of Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic (EMT-P).  The detailed differences between the two certifications are noted here, but it is generally understood that the EMT-P is able to provide some of most advanced pre-hospital care available. 

 

All FDLFD EMS personnel participate in monthly EMS training.  Both EMT-B and EMT-P levels are required maintain a minimum level of continuing education hours and certifications.  EMT-B’s must have at least 30 hours along with Basic Life Support (BLS) certification every two years.  EMT-P’s must have at least 48 hours along with Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) every two years. 

 

Medical direction is provided by St. Agnes Hospital Emergency Department and detailed in a book of protocols that provide our personnel guidelines and approval to perform specific skills and administer medications while on scene with patients or enroute to the hospital.

 

The FDLFD operates one ambulance from each of three stations with two paramedic crew members assigned to each ambulance.  The ambulances are responsible for primary patient care and transport.  This often begs the question, “So why does the fire engine follow the ambulance?”  Personnel assigned to the Engine companies will respond with and assist our paramedic crews on calls that require advanced care such as pulseless non breathing patients, strokes, chest pain, unconscious, etc…  It is very important when treating these type of patients that there are additional personnel on scene to assist with basic duties (vital signs, oxygen therapy, lifting, etc) while the paramedics are performing critical skills and administering medications to help the patient.  The knowledge and training of today’s EMS personnel is often misunderstood.  EMS personnel are often seen as “ambulance drivers” or uniformed chauffeurs that only need to drive a patient to the hospital.  Realistically, there are few life threatening situations where paramedic level care needs to rush patients to the hospital.   The time spent lifting, moving, driving and generally rushing to the hospital, is now spent on advanced paramedic skills such as rapid sequence intubation, 12 lead EKG’s, etc… in order to bring the care to the patient as opposed to bringing the patient to the care and delaying life saving treatment.  The technology of today is facilitating a greater change in the level of treatment that can be extended into the pre-hospital world.  It is ironic that physicians many years ago, frequently made house calls to visit and evaluate their patients.  But as technology advanced, patients needed to travel to the hospital due to the use of specialized equipment that was large, heavy and generally not very mobile.  It is now the compact and mobile size of today’s equipment that allows FDLFD EMS personnel to bring some of that same equipment, combined with today’s training, knowledge and skill, through your front door and provide the best available pre-hospital care for the people who live work and play in this community.    

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Fond du Lac Fire Dept.   920-322-3800
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