Fire Department Transports Critical Patients In Ambulances
Following lengthy negotiations between the City and the County of Santa Clara, ambulances staffed by paramedic firefighters are now sent to emergency medical service calls in the City of Santa Clara.
Once on the scene of an emergency, Santa Clara Fire Department paramedics, who generally arrive prior to the private ambulance provider, assess an individual's medical needs, provide treatment, and prepare for transportation to a hospital via ambulance if required. Most individuals will continue to be transported to a hospital with the County's contract ambulance provider, American Medical Response. But on those occasions when an individual has a severe and imminently life-threatening condition, the Fire Department will transport the patient if American Medical Response is not yet on the emergency scene.
The Fire Department has two levels of medical training for its firefighters. There are 120 firefighters trained to the level known as Basic Life Support and are known as Emergency Medical Technicians or EMTs. EMTs staff five of eight fire engines, both truck companies, and one Hazardous Materials unit. There are 36 firefighters trained to the level known as Advanced Life Support and are known as Paramedics. Paramedics staff the remaining four engine companies and three ambulances that are distributed strategically through the City.
Three cities in the County, Santa Clara, Gilroy, and San Jose, are participating in the supplemental ambulance program. The Santa Clara Fire Department is extremely pleased to provide this level of service to the citizens.