IAFC, IAFF Support Fire Service-Based EMS

Nov. 9, 2009
The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) on Nov. 2 reaffirmed their support for fire service-based emergency medical service and urged public officials to support all efforts to broaden emergency medical care and ambulance transport by the fire service to better protect the public.

The IAFC board of directors outlined its support for fire service-based EMS in August.

“Fire service EMS is the most efficient and effective model for the rapid delivery of all emergency medical services. When time is critical and effective pre-hospital care is necessary, the fire service is well positioned strategically, geographically, administratively, financially and operationally,” the IAFC position statement read.

In September, the IAFF executive board voted to reaffirm its commitment to fire service-based EMS.

“Pre-hospital 9-1-1 emergency response is an inherent governmental function and one of the essential public safety functions provided by fire departments throughout the United States and Canada,” the IAFF executive board said.

This joint statement of the IAFC and IAFF underscores their position that fire service-based EMS is the most efficient and effective model for the swift delivery of emergency medical services because the fire service is strategically and geographically positioned to provide rapid EMS care. That’s why the fire service has become the first-line medical responder for critical illnesses and injuries throughout North America. For many fire departments in North America, EMS calls comprise more than 70 percent of all responses.

With public safety budgets getting slashed, public officials must recognize that the fire service is an all-hazards responder, making it the ideal pre-hospital 9-1-1 emergency response agency providing rapid response and competent patient care, the IAFF executive board said.

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