Enhancing your response efforts

By FireRescue1 Staff

Mutual aid sources for both dispatching and for public safety assets is a mandate for rural areas.

Rural 911 communication centers should be able to make one phone call to a neighboring agency to have them organize a response of needed fire and EMS resources: "Urban County, this is Dispatcher Smith in Rural County. We have a major incident with multiple casualties on Highway One at mile marker 23. I am requesting seven ambulances and three engines to respond directly to the scene.

"The staging area is south of the scene at mile marker 24, and Command is using tactical channel 1. Since you are our support, I need you to also provide immediate backup for any emergencies that may occur away from this crash incident.

"So I am asking you to keep resources available and any other calls for fire or ambulance (or law enforcement) responses, I am immediately transferring the call to you. We will advise when the situation is under control and can resume normal duties."

In rural areas, there are situations where advanced life support personnel may be available from sources other then the EMS responders.

Bystanders at the scene may include some physicians, nurses, air ambulance personnel, paramedics and other trained personnel.

All of these skilled personnel may be able to contribute significantly to patient care, as long as they understand their role as Good Samaritans, do not attempt to take over control from the responsible EMS providers, and can adequately identify themselves (with a license or equivalent) as possessing the degree they report they have.

In many rural areas, air ambulances have a critical role in transporting the sickest patients. This allows the first responders to be backed up in the most timely way by an advanced life support flight crew, and then use the capability of the helicopter as a rapid transport vehicle to an appropriate hospital.

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