Detroit Changes Response Models

BLS ambulances will respond first as Detroit tries out a tiered system to ease their ambulance woes.

Why bother?

Detroit’s leadership has opted to use the dispatch codes to determine what response is appropriate for a given emergency. This could be useful in a system that is trying to make the most of a precious commodity such as paramedics, focusing their efforts into an area where they would do the most good.

Typically, a tiered response works like so:

  1. Emergency situation evolves
  2. Some one calls 911
  3. Call taker triages the call using PMDS
  4. Dispatcher assigns units
  5. First responder (typically fire apparatus) arrives first
  6. Ambulance arrives, transports the patient from the scene to the hospital

In Memphis, the assigned units could be ANY of the following combinations:

  • Emergency Unit (EU), which is a paramedic ambulance
  • Fire apparatus (Engine, Truck, or Heavy Rescue, BLS or ALS depending on staffing, location, and unit availability)
  • EU and fire apparatus
  • EU and EMS supervisor (known as a “200,” we have 5 plus an EMS battalion chief and all are paramedics)
  • EU, fire apparatus, battalion chief, and supervisor(s)

My idea is that the Detroit Fire Department should involve fire apparatus in the EMS response matrix as well. No man is an island, and with things being so thin in Detroit they should use whatever they have available.

Hmmm, Detroit, what models to study and copy? Let’s see, just about every city in America has a fire department, and some sort of EMS division or a Fire department and EMS department together, and we need both to accomplish the mission. Who could that system be!? Who has either one of these that work together and have years and years of experience at handling fire and EMS operations?

Does it need to be this obvious?

(I know, I’m terrible at photo editing)

  • That photo is GREAT! Here’s my question though:

    To what level are the Fire Fighters in Detroit trained? How much would it cost to outfit the apparatus and train the personnel?

    I think the first thing they need is more ambulances. 22 just doesn’t seem enough. The second is they need some sort of backup agreement. Surely, the only ambulances driving around in Detroit have “DFD” on the side. There has to be someone else there that can help out.

  • MedicSBK

    That photo is GREAT! Here’s my question though:

    To what level are the Fire Fighters in Detroit trained? How much would it cost to outfit the apparatus and train the personnel?

    I think the first thing they need is more ambulances. 22 just doesn’t seem enough. The second is they need some sort of backup agreement. Surely, the only ambulances driving around in Detroit have “DFD” on the side. There has to be someone else there that can help out.

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