EMS System Response to Fire Station Closures
The Contra Costa EMS Agency works with Fire districts, the contracted 9-1-1 emergency ambulance provider, hospitals and communities to partially mitigate reductions in Fire-EMS first medical response when possible. See our most recent report here.
The county ambulance provider will continue to meet strict response time performance requirements. The EMS agency supports preserving fire first response regardless of level. See our white paper on "The Relationship of Fire First Response to Emergency Medical Services".
When the capabilities in fire first medical response change a number of activities occur:
- An EMS System impact evaluation begins between Fire, EMS staff and the contracted ambulance provider upon notification that a fire station(s) may close.
- Affected areas use of EMS System Services is reviewed to determine high risk areas.
- 9-1-1 Emergency Medical Dispatch protocols are reviewed to assure that the highest risk patients (e.g. cardiac arrest, trauma, heart attack and stroke) receive the most rapid response possible while balancing resources so all patients receive an appropriate level of EMS ambulance response.
- Fire agency leadership, the county contracted 9-1-1 ambulance provider and Contra Costa EMS Agency participate in fire district coordinated community meetings to share information and hear concerns.
- Hospitals are directed to off-load 9-1-1 ambulance transported patients as quickly as possible so that ambulance units can return to service.
- Community outreach efforts are expanded to reinforce the importance of bystander first response including early recognition of an emergency, appropriate use of 9-1-1, hands-only CPR and use of public AED's.