Estero Fire Rescue operates five emergency vehicles that are staffed twenty-four hours a day with Paramedics. Each of these vehicles is also fully equipped with Advanced Life Support equipment that mirrors an ambulance. This equipment includes cardiac defibrillators, advanced and surgical airways and cardiac, resuscitation and respiratory medications.
Estero Fire Rescue sends one of these apparatus to every medical call for several reasons. Primarily, theappropriate number of personnel to adequately resuscitate a cardiac arrest victim or treat a traumatic injury exceeds the staffing of one ambulance. In these situations, in which multiple body systems are in need of treatment, additional personnel immediately on the scene can treat the patient’s injuries or illness simultaneously.
For example, one paramedic may focus on placing an advanced airway tube into the patient’s mouth while another begins accessing a vein in order to provide medications. Still another paramedic is needed to connect, analyze, interrupt and defibrillate the victim’s heart while another paramedic or emergency medical technician provides CPR chest compressions. This doesn’t include the personnel needed to interview witnesses for a possible cause or prepare the patient for transport to the hospital.
Once a critical patient is loaded into an ambulance and ready for transport to the hospital, someone has to join the ambulance crew to assist with maintaining all of these positions en route to the hospital. Three personnel will struggle with maintaining this operation and two personnel cannot do it at all with any positive outcome expected.
The second reason Estero Fire Rescue sends a fire truck to your medical emergency has to do with time. Our number one enemy in successfully rescuing or treating a patient is the amount of time that expires between the time of the emergency and the time advanced life support arrives to the patient’s side. Once an ambulance has left the area and transported a patient to a hospital, it is no longer available for the next emergency in that area. Therefore, much of the time, your Estero Fire truck is the first to arrive and begin advanced life support treatment while an ambulance responds from out of the area.
Thirdly, the fire equipment in Estero has been acquired, positioned and staffed in accordance with the National Fire Protection Agency, the National Fire Administration, the Insurance Service Organization and other industry specific guidelines in order to provide maximum and efficient fire protection to the community. The addition of EMS responsibilities for these apparatus provides the taxpayer with additional services using the same tax dollars.