Fire-based EMS: The issues we face

By Adam K. Thiel, FR1

Given the current economic climate, it’s hard to anticipate exactly how local fire departments’ missions will change in the future, if at all. (Although substantial changes are certainly occurring in many places, such as privatization, public safety officers, contracting, outsourcing, etc.)

Depending on the specific jurisdiction and its fiscal situation, it’s likely that some departments will expand their services (probably without additional staffing or equipment), and some will be forced to reduce the range of what they currently provide their communities.

EMS, of course, is likely to be a big part of that discussion, depending on how it is presently delivered and the fire department’s level of engagement, training, and standard of care.

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