Forward-looking consolidation of fire, EMS benefits citizens
In just six months after consolidating the city’s fire and EMS services, response times have dropped dramatically.
Last week’s front-page story about the city brought to light the improvements for citizens and how consolidation of our fire and EMS departments has allowed more people to be available to respond to emergencies, when seconds can mean the difference between life and death.
Fredericksburg Fire Chief Lynn Bizzell said cross-training of fire and EMS responders has allowed the city to use its personnel more efficiently, often placing firemen on the ambulance or swap those crews and put them on the fire truck. This helps fill the demand where there is need.
In addition to figuring out how to best use personnel, Bizzell and EMS Administrator David Jung must also comply with many state regulations, while doing what they can to ensure the safety of firefighters, EMTs and paramedics. They also must juggle workers when there are transfer calls to larger area hospitals, taking an ambulance crew out of commission locally for hours.
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