2nd Edition of the Fire Service-Based EMS Electronic Tool Kit-A Resource for Leaders (2014)

Welcome to the On Line Home of the Fire Service Based EMS Advocates

Prehospital 9-1-1 emergency response is one of the essential public safety functions provided by the United States fire service in support of community health, security and prosperity.  Fire service-based emergency medical services (EMS) systems are strategically positioned to deliver time critical response and effective patient care.  Fire service-based EMS provides this pivotal public safety service while also emphasizing responder safety, competent and compassionate workers, and cost-effective operations. 
It is critical that policy makers understand the importance of having emergency medical services provided through the fire service. Fire service-based EMS is prehospital emergency 9-1-1 medical response provided by the nation’s firefighter EMTs and paramedics.  Due to the training, expertise, and equipment of fire service-based EMS responders, they are capable of simultaneously securing a scene, mitigating the hazard, and triaging, extricating, treating, decontaminating (if necessary), and transporting the patients who have been injured to an appropriate medical facility. Time efficiency is a key component of the best designed EMS systems. There is no service more capable of rapid multi-faceted response than a fire-based EMS system.
As the federal, state, and local governments consider their strategic plans for an ‘all hazards’ emergency response system, EMS should be included in those considerations and decision makers should recognize that the U.S. fire service is the most ideal prehospital 9-1-1 emergency response agency.

Fire Service-Based EMS-There’s a New Tool Kit For Your Use
Chief Dennis Compton
Co-Facilitator Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates
   Chief Dennis Compton Co-Facilitator
      Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates

Fire Service-Based EMS-There’s a New Tool Kit For Your Use

By: Chief Dennis Compton

Many fire service leaders from management and labor have strongly advocated for the importance of being able to effectively represent our fire service-based EMS systems in the political arena. This includes focusing those efforts at the national, state and local levels of government where decisions are made on a regular basis that significantly impact EMS service delivery capabilities of fire departments. This issue is especially in the spotlight now because of changes being implemented incrementally throughout the country with the phase-in of the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Educating elected officials and other policy-makers about the advantages of fire service-based EMS will be even more critical as fire departments consider whether to engage in opportunities and options that are sure to emerge over the next two or three years.

To assist the fire service with these challenges, a small group of major organizations recently came together to significantly overhaul the Fire Service-Based EMS Electronic Tool Kit that was originally developed in 2010. These partners included representatives from the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF); the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association; the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA); the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC); and the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI). This new electronic tool kit can be accessed on the websites of each of the above organizations. Other organizations will provide links from their websites to the Tool Kit as well.

This Second Edition of the Fire Service-Based EMS Electronic Tool Kit is intended to provide fire service managers and union officials with a great deal of current information on fire service-based emergency medical services. The Tool Kit includes two sections:

Section One provides information and tools related to fire service-based EMS in general; and

Section Two provides specific information and tools directly related to the impact of the Federal PPACA on fire service-based EMS, as well as opportunities that the PPACA might present to fire departments as it is phased-in.

Both Sections - One and Two – include “talking points”, as well as various electronic links to documents described within the Tool Kit. There are also links to other resources, including websites and videos. Users may access these links and download resources at any time.

The information provided in the electronic tool kit covers many facets of fire service-based EMS. The “talking points” that are included can be used when communicating inside and outside of fire departments, including during presentations to the public, the media, elected officials, public mangers, the medical community and others. The various links provide information covering the historical background of fire service-based EMS, including an overview of deployment and service delivery issues. Also included in the Electronic Tool Kit are documents that stress the importance of effective interaction with the medical community, as well as EMS system components such as training/certification and billing/collection. Information about the operations of private EMS providers and other important areas are also stressed within the Tool Kit.

As previously mentioned, this new edition of the electronic tool kit is also rich with information related to the PPACA and opportunities that might become available to fire service leaders as they design and mange adjustments to their fire service-based EMS systems. New and enhanced partnerships between fire departments and the health care community, as well as others, are sure to be important as the PPACA is more clearly defined and implemented. This tool kit will provide information and tools to assist fire departments in so many ways. As users review the Tool Kit, they are encouraged to decide for themselves what information – opportunities – and options best interface with their specific system, situation and needs.

Some of the decisions made regarding the future of fire service-based EMS will be made by leaders on the inside of fire departments, but many of the decisions will also be made or approved by leaders on the outside of the department. These include a broad group of people, including elected and appointed public officials. Having good information, data and other tools will be critical to fire departments when making their case for maintaining and enhancing fire service-based EMS systems in the near and long term future. Hopefully, this electronic tool kit will provide a quality tool that might help fire departments be more successful. We should thank the IAFF; Metro Chiefs; IFSTA; IAFC and the CFSI for dedicating the resources, knowledge, motivation and leadership necessary to create this Fire Service-Based EMS Electronic Tool Kit. Now – as in almost all cases - it’s up to leaders within the fire service to make good use of it!

About the Author:

Chief Dennis Compton served as the Fire Chief in Mesa, Arizona for five years and as Assistant Fire Chief in Phoenix, Arizona, where he served for twenty-seven years. Chief Compton is the Past Chairman of the Executive Board of the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) and Past Chairman of the Congressional Fire Services Institute’s National Advisory Committee. He is currently the Chairman of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Board of Directors. Dennis is also Co-Chairman of the Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates Coalition Steering Committee.

CFSI/Medic Alert Excellence In Fire Service-Based EMS Award Best Practices Summary covering the period from 2011 through 2013
Monday, February 24, 2014 
The winning submissions of the Congressional Fire Services Institute//Medic Alert Excellence In Fire Service-Based EMS Award Best Practices Summary covering the period from 2011 through 2013 is now available for download in a PDF format booklet. These award winning submissions may be accessed by clicking on the Title of this article. Each year Medic Alert in conjunction with The Congressional Fire Service Institute sponsors competitive awards in three categories based on fire department type. For more information on the awards contact the Congressional Fire Services Institute.

Medic Alert Foundation
Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates Recognize National EMS Week
Sunday, May 19, 2013 

Sunday May 19, 2013 marks the beginning of National EMS Week and presents an opportunity to honor the men and women who deliver pre-hospital 9-1-1 emergency medical care throughout the United States.  This vital public safety service is provided primarily by cross-trained, multi-role emergency responders who are based in our nation’s fire departments.
The fire service has a rich history of protecting the health and safety of our communities through an ‘all hazards’ response model that includes the delivery of pre-hospital emergency medical care.  Fire service-based EMS providers are located, trained, and equipped to provide virtually every community with timely pre-hospital 9-1-1 emergency medical response and patient care.  Every day, dual role firefighter/EMTs and firefighter/paramedics respond quickly, professionally and compassionately to medical emergencies in communities across the country.
The Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates coalition recognizes the life-saving contributions and achievements, as well as the dedication and commitment of those who serve in fire service-based EMS systems. National EMS Week is a time to pause and say “thank you” to the entire EMS Community, including firefighter/EMTs and firefighter/paramedics - our nation’s ‘all hazards’ response professionals.
The Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates coalition, based in Washington, DC, provides Members of Congress, federal agencies, and many others with information they need to effectively support fire service-based EMS systems throughout the nation. For more information about the Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates and how to join the coalition, visit www.fireserviceems.com.       

New Fire Service Based EMS Best Practices Added
The Advocates are pleased to post another round of Fire Service Based EMS Best Practices. Several of these were recognized by receiving national awards for innovation. Fire service based EMS delivery systems because of superior deployment and dedicated responders are perfectly suited to embrace change that improve patient care. Departments that submitted entries range from the largest municipal to a small volunteer and several in between. Does your department have a best practice to share? Let us know and we will post it on this site.Download the best practices by clicking on the Best Practice bar on the left side of this page.

Significantly Improving a Fire Service-Based EMS Deployment and Response System…an Innovative Model
The Phoenix Fire Department has been delivering paramedic level EMS service since the early 1970’s. Over the years we have deployed a number of delivery models, including taking over ambulance service delivery for the city in 1985. In 2006, under the direction of Fire Chief Bob Khan, then Local 493 President Billy Shields, and current Local 493 President Pete Gorraiz, the Phoenix Fire Department began the process of developing a long-term strategic plan. Read and/or download the entire article by clicking on the icon below.

Significantly Improving a Fire Service-Based EMS Deployment and Response System…an Innovative Model By: Assistant Fire Chief Todd Harms

Phoenix Fire Department
Kansas City FD and Metropolitan Ambulance Services Trust to Merge
Friday, November 13, 2009 
Dispite opposition, Kansas CIty FD and Metropolitan Ambulance Services Trust will merge EMS into the Fire Department. The Advocates congratulate KCFD and Chief Richard Smokey Dyer on this important merger that will benefit all those who live work or visit Kansas City. Click on the title of this story to find links to the full story.

KDFD Fire Department

Read the Full Story in JEMS
Advocates Issue Statement During EMS Week
Wednesday, May 20, 2009 
This week is National EMS Week, a special week to honor the men and women who provide pre-hospital 9-1-1 emergency medical care throughout the country.   To raise greater public awareness about these dedicated first responders, the Fire Service Based EMS Advocates issued a press release that we wantto share with each of you
 For the past two years, we have worked together to educate elected leaders and the public alike on the important role fire service-based EMS provides in the continuum of pre-hospital emergency medical care. Steering committee members have conducted presentations at major conferences and published articles in various first responder journals, focusing on the role of fire service-based emergency services personnel, to clarify who responds first when a 9-1-1 call is placed.
Denny Compton and Steve Austin, Co-Chairs of the Coalition are encouraging fire based EMS agencies to become Advocates Becoming a member requires little time and effort. All you need to do is support the mission statement of the coalition and write a letter seeking membership. The details are located on the Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates website (www.fireserviceems.com).  
If you have not joined, please consider taking a few minutes to become a member and send a message to our elected officials of your strong support for fire service-based EMS.
Many thanks from the Advocates For Fire Service Based EMS

News Release From the Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates
Thursday, October 30, 2008 

An Important Tool to Educate Government Officials about the Critical Role of Fire Service-Based EMS

(Washington, DC) Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates have recently released a new website to provide information about the mission of the group and to educate decision makers about the important role of fire service-based EMS in communities throughout the nation.
The advocacy group was formed in 2006 by five major national fire service organizations to clarify the role of fire service-based EMS in the continuum of the pre-hospital 9-1-1 emergency medical care system.   As Congress and the Administration continue to make important policy decisions on emergency medical services in this country, the Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates will use the website to provide objective information from respected fire and emergency services leaders to ensure that policy makers have accurate data to help them make informed decisions.
Information contained on the website includes a white paper titled, “Prehospital 911 Emergency Medical Response: The Role of the United States Fire Service In Delivery and Coordination”, written by four nationally recognized EMS physicians. It includes the video, “Fire Service-Based EMS: The Right Response”, that features commentary from Chief Dennis Compton, Co-Chair of the Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates, and several other leading public safety officials. And it provides information on how organizations and individuals can become Advocates and help join in the effort to educate elected officials and other decisions makers on the critical role of fire service-based EMS in protecting our nation’s citizens.
“Next year, a new Administration will appoint a cadre of officials who oversee a number of federal programs that impact our emergency response systems,” said Compton. “In addition, there will be a number of new members in Congress. The goal of our group is to make sure that the voices of our nation’s one million first responders – the men and women of our fire and emergency services – are heard on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue and to participate in the discourse when important decisions are being made about pre-hospital 9-1-1 emergency medical services.”
The website address is www.fireserviceems.com. The five steering committee members include the Congressional Fire Services Institute, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Fire Fighters, National Fire Protection Association, and National Volunteer Fire Council. 
Contact: Bill Webb 202-371-1277
For a full color pdf. of this Press Release click on this Icon and download for your use


Photo Credit Tom Hoboken http://www.flickr.com/photos/tom_hoboken/430797988/
   Photo Credit Tom Hoboken
Then and Now-The Fire Service provides emergency care Photo Credit: Aetna Hose, Hook and Ladder Co. Newark DE
   Then and Now-The Fire Service provides
      emergency care Photo Credit: Aetna Hose,
      Hook and Ladder Co. Newark DE
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