Questions to Be Answered for Integration of Advanced Life Support Services in Fire-based EMS [open pdf - 1MB]
"A duty to serve and an opportunity from growth prompted The Overland Park Fire Department, Inc. to explore an increased level of EMS [Emergency Medical Services] provision. The problem prompting this research was that there was no clear decision in making a transition of this scope. The purpose of this evaluative research was to develop objective benchmarks to determine if the implementation of advance life support (ALS) within the departments service was prudent. The questions posed were: 1. How receptive is the organization to commit to quality ALS care? 2. What will it cost the customer and organization? 3. Can the organization provide a better level of care than is currently provided? 4. How does the organization intend to implement the increased level of care? The literature review discovered texts and articles debating the provision of fire-based EMS at the ALS level. One survey was conducted to measure the organization's opinion of providing ALS care and what benefit would be provided to the customer and organization. The results indicated that fire-based ALS was an efficient service, both financially and operationally. Response time analysis showed that a substantial impact in patient care is obtainable with advanced airways, medications, and electrical therapy in the hands of first responders. Recommendations included a phased approach to the implementation of advanced life support services; ensuring quality patient care with adequate training, practical experience, and diligent supervision."
United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Learning Resource Center: http://www.lrc.fema.gov/