EMS Q&A: Did you know MFD paramedics are also firefighters?

Posted on Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 1:35pm

Extinguisher, axe, halligan, and water can next to ambulanceMay 21-27, 2017 is National EMS Week! To help us celebrate, take a moment to learn about what we do, share this blog with your friends, and submit a question of your own!

MFD ambulances carry more than medical equipment! Our paramedics are also prepared to respond to a fire if needed. Here’s why…

All new MFD recruits first go through a Fire Academy taught by veteran members of the Madison Fire Department, and they ultimately graduate as firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). While some recruits already have a paramedic license when they join the MFD, all are required to start out as firefighters.

Eventually, MFD personnel are welcome to apply to become paramedics, and those who do still maintain their firefighter certifications.

 
Every paramedic carries firefighting gear on the ambulance, including full turnout gear and self-contained breathing apparatus, a halligan, axe, water can extinguisher, and dry chemical extinguisher.

Ambulance with all equipment showing

An ambulance is dispatched to every structure fire call. Their primary role, unless otherwise assigned as the situation demands, is caring for victims as well as the on-scene personnel.

Sometimes paramedics are first on scene due to their proximity to the fire at the time of dispatch. With limited tools at their disposal, they’re still able to take command and perform a scene size-up until the first-in engine or ladder company arrives. If paramedics do become engaged in firefighting operations, another ambulance will be dispatched to provide medical care.

Having firefighter-certified paramedics provides versatility in staffing. Sometimes you’ll see a paramedic filling in on an engine or ladder company, which can mean having some advanced life support capabilities on board until an ambulance arrives to the scene of a medical emergency.

How can you help save a life? Check back tomorrow to learn about available CPR courses and a free app that lets you know when someone needs help!
Do you have a question about what we do? Email it to us at fire@cityofmadison.com!