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May 19-25, 2013 is EMS Week. “EMS: One Mission. One Team.”

May 19, 2013 -- EMS week is an important time of the year to remember that Fire-Based EMS is the most prevalent delivery model of prehospital care in the U.S. In fact, Firefighter/ EMTs and paramedics respond to more than 80% of the U.S. population to deliver time critical emergency medical care. This year's theme is “EMS: One Mission. One Team.”

Originally enacted during the Presidency of Gerald Ford in 1974, EMS Week was a way to highlight and honor those on the front line and to promote the health and safety of the public. The EMS Week enacted by President Ford was short lived but was reborn and perpetuated by the American College of Emergency Physicians in 1982. Although delivered through a different venue, the underlying message is the same; EMS provided on the front line is an essential component of the public health and public safety infrastructure of the Nation.

Just as fire stations and apparatus are being threatened with closures and personnel reductions, there is an ever growing challenge from some politicians and private consultant firms to remove Fire-Based EMS from the services firefighter/EMTs and paramedics provide in order to devalue the fire department’s capabilities. These attempts to diminish services are an underhanded means to justify downsizing departments even more. Sadly, these agents attempt to vilify the service that firefighters and paramedics provide by reducing the delivery model to dollars and cents rather than discuss the actual impact that service elimination and staff reductions will have on the very citizens that they are allegedly helping.

Use this EMS week to show decision makers and the public that firefighter/EMT and paramedic capabilities go beyond forcing doors and fighting fires. When it comes to EMS, firefighter/EMTs and paramedics are an appropriately trained, equipped, knowledgeable and readily deployable resource that is capable of assisting any citizen when they have a need for emergency services. Let the community know why they should support fire-based EMS and what they stand to lose if these services are lost.

It is essential that IAFF members remember that we are in fact one team with a common mission, and that mission is to provide all hazards response capability, including emergency medical response, to the citizens we serve in their most vulnerable moment.

For more information on EMS Week 2013 visit ACEP's EMS Week web site at http://www.acep.org/emsweek .

 

Residential Fire Study Shows Effects of Crew Size on Fire Fighting Operations

April 28, 2010 -- A landmark study released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) shows that the size of fire fighting crews has a substantial effect on the fire service's ability to protect lives and property in residential fires. Click here to read the news release.

Conducted by a broad coalition in the scientific, fire fighting and public safety communities, the study results found that four-person fire fighting crews were able to complete 22 essential fire fighting and rescue tasks in a typical residential structure 30 percent faster than two-person crews and 25 percent faster than three-person crews.

The report is the first to quantify the effects of crew sizes and arrival times on the fire service's lifesaving and fire fighting operations.

This and other scientific data in the report will help educate public officials, fire chiefs and other decision-makers on the importance of adequate staffing and deployment with respect to fire fighter and public safety.

Study investigators from NIST and the IAFF announced the results of the study at a press conference at the Hilton Washington in Washington, DC, before the start of the annual Congressional Fire Services Institute meeting of top fire safety officials from the across the nation.

Click here for the full report.

The study is funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters grant program.

Read General President Harold Schaitberger's blog, "Fire Fighter Staffing and Deployment Study Released"

Read the related report "Effect of Deployment of Resources on Cardiovascular Strain on Firefighters".

For more information, contact Lori Moore-Merrell at lmoore@iaff.org or (202) 824-1594.


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