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Dallas Fire-Rescue launches new staffing model

DFR is hoping to cut down on burnout, response times and overtime with single-role paramedics


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By Kerri Hatt

DALLAS — Dallas Fire-Rescue has launched a pilot program to staff ambulances more efficiently, with the goal of cutting down on burnout, response times and overtime, FOX 4 reported.

The Single-Role Paramedic Pilot Program will run for 6 months, beginning with internal staff. If successful, DFR will begin recruiting and hiring single-role paramedics rather than paying overtime to staff ALS units with firefighter-paramedics during peak hours.

The paramedics would work a 10-12 hour traditional shift, rather than the 24 hours on, 48 hours off schedule DFR firefighter-paramedics work.

DFR Chief Dominique Artis told FOX 4 the department runs an average 210,000 EMS calls each year, and rising numbers during the pandemic are spreading resources thin.

The department will ask internal staff to volunteer, before hiring 12 full-time paramedics, if the city’s public safety committee approves the plan. Chief Artis told FOX 4 he’s already had fire chiefs from other departments contact him about the program, and if it does succeed, it could serve as a model for fire departments nationwide.