Firefighter Academy Week 4 – EMS and Careflite Helicopter
Hey everyone! This weeks class was cool. We started with a presentation of the emergency medical services (EMS) provided by the The Colony Fire Department. All firefighters in The Colony Fire Department are certified or licensed EMS paramedics and dispatched during every emergency call. Compared to other cities in the north Texas region, The Colony offers some of the most comprehensive EMS Paramedic services. Texas law doesn’t allow non-licensed EMS personnel to practice independently. The Colony EMS service works with a local medical director physician. The physician essentially extends his license to permit EMS services to provide pre-hospital medical care in the local community under their authorization. To be accepted to the program all Colony firefighter/EMS are required to take basic and advanced classes and must maintain continuing education once a month.
There are three medic bags for first responder medical calls.
- The red bag is used for trauma which has splints, bandages, medicine, cardiac medication for CPR, and one round of medicine for pre-hospital treatment.
- The green bag is for airway and breathing including the laryngoscope and endotracheal tubes.
- The third bag has a cardiac monitor,defibrillator, 12 lead EKG, and blood pressure. This is very expensive equipment. (5 figures)
In The Colony every emergency call will dispatch an Ambulance with 2 firefighters/EMS plus fire truck with at least 3 personnel, for a total of 5 personnel on the scene. Leading to the question “Why is there a fire truck dispatched during a medical call? The quick answer is “BACK-UP”. At times if the scene of the accident is critical 3 personnel maybe required to transport the patient to the hospital, 1-driver and 2-attending. At anytime even during the initial incident they could receive another fire or medical call and need to be ready to respond.
If a patient is in critical condition, the designated attending paramedic will assess if the patient requires ”golden hour response”. The golden hour is the time from the initial call to when the patient is on the operating table. The patient has the best chance for recovery/survival if they can meet the golden hour. Type of injury dictates which hospital the patient would need to go. Time is of essence and unfavorable traffic and road conditions would extend response time. This is when the services of the Careflite Medical Helicopter would be required.
Careflite is a local medical helicopter transportation services organization in Dallas-Ft. Worth that began in 1979. They now have five bases within DFW and air-lifted thousands of patients. The highlight of the class was the arrival of the Careflite helicopter. The helicopter made several circles around the fire station and landed in an open field behind Fire Station #3. The landing was smooth and extremely windy. The helicopter was impressive once on the ground. This helicopter was based out of Frisco, Texas. Local citizens also flocked by to check out the helicopter, take pictures, and ask the team questions.
A few things learned about the Careflite Helicopter:
- The team consists of a pilot, nurse, and paramedic.
- The helicopter is fully equipped with medical equipment and supplies and administered by the nurse and paramedic.
- The pilot needs to be aware of overhead power lines, trees, and any other overhead obstructions.
- The nurse and paramedic also keep an eye out for obstructions like balloons,birds, or any other objects that could be in the flight path.
- The pilot and aircraft is subject to comply with FAA regulations.
- In the past birds have crashed through windshields with pilots managing to land safely.
- The helicopter trip from Frisco to The Colony is 5 minutes or less.