Paramedic Requirements (EMS Division)
The City of Perrysburg is proud of the fact that all full-time personnel are State of Ohio Certified Paramedics.
Currently, the paramedic certification is a requirement to take the civil service test for a full-time position. With the paramedic training curriculum taking a year or longer to complete, this requirement saves the City of Perrysburg a year of training for new hires to become productive members of the Fire Division.
Our paramedics provide state-of-the-art care to all those who live, work, shop and pass through our community. Some of the procedures and interventions performed on a daily basis are: intravenous access (IV’s), 12 Lead EKG monitoring, capnography (measuring oxygen in the blood), blood glucose tests, spinal immobilizing, and aerosol breathing treatments.
Several free services provided by the Perrysburg Fire Division are invalid assists and blood pressure screenings. It is not uncommon for the disabled to fall, but are not injured. The Perrysburg Fire Division will come out to our residents homes and help to assist them free of charge providing they are not transported to a hospital.
A second free service is blood pressure/ vital sign screening. It is not uncommon when physicians prescribe a new medication to a patient, to have their vital signs checked for a period of time. We provide free vital sign screening at the Fire Station, 140 W. Indiana Ave.
The fee schedule for transporting to a hospital is:
Advanced Life Support Basic Life Support
Residents: $425.00 $350.00
Non-Residents: $450.00 $450.00
Mileage is $7.00 per mile
For ambulance billing question please contact the Fire Division Administrative Assistant Monday – Friday 8 am- 12 pm.
WHY DO FIRE ENGINES GO ON AMBULANCE CALLS?
A question I am frequently asked is why does the fire engine respond with the ambulance on EMS calls? While this is relatively new to the citizens of Perrysburg, this is a common practice throughout the country as well as neighboring communities. The fire engine provides adequate staff, dependent on the situation, to insure sufficient care for the patient in various capacities.
On a number of occasions, the statement was made “they only had the flu, five firefighter/paramedics seem excessive”. When we look at the typical cold and flu symptoms, they are not only vague, but they also parallel more serious conditions. These symptoms include nausea, vomiting, weakness, sweating and occasional breathing difficulties (short of breath). If you add chest pain to these symptoms, it is what is known as “classic myocardial infarction (heart attack) symptoms”.
Most people would be surprised how often we find patients experiencing life threatening heart ailments who do not complain of chest pain. This is especially true in diabetics, women and the elderly. Multiple tasks must be performed in the first few minutes to reduce any damage to the heart. All of our full-time staff are State certified paramedics, so these tasks can be performed quickly and efficiently.
Secondly, the engine crew provides other supportive rolls. Most homes are not set up to get our cot in and through the house to the patient. Medic staff can quickly get to the patient and begin to assess and treat the patient while the engine staff moves furniture to get the cot to the patient. If other equipment is needed, engine staff can bring it to the patient and not interrupt patient care.
Frequently, I hear from patients and family how easy we make it look when we move their loved one. This is possible due to the number of staff that we have on scene. Patients do not have to be large to be difficult to move. The position we find them in has more of an impact. In cramped or small spaces, we make small movements to get the patient out.
Patients that are injured and require immobilizing on a backboard require four trained staff to properly immobilize. Even for what could be considered a minor fracture it is not uncommon to be a three-person task. The goal is to prevent further damage as well as keep the patients’ pain at a minimum. Improper immobilizing may lead to life limiting disabilities for the patients.
When the Fire Division is dispatched, we typically receive the information from citizens who are untrained in pre-hospital emergency conditions. We have been dispatched to a number of “person fell” calls. Upon arrival we found that the “person fell” due to going into cardiac arrest. A delay in advanced life support techniques could be fatal for these patients.
It has been suggested “why not send a car or another vehicle rather than the engine?” This is impractical for several reasons. We do not have the space for another vehicle in the Fire Station so this car would have to stay outside in the elements. In the winter months it would need to be cleared prior to driving, delaying a response. If they transport to the hospital, the vehicle and equipment would be left at the scene. The firefighters back at the station would then need to retrieve the vehicle since some of our equipment and medications could not be left unattended in this manner. This would leave one firefighter on each vehicle which could create a delay in a response to a second call.
The Fire Division administration has extensively reviewed our response to all types of calls, both fire and EMS. This practice of two person medic and a first responder engine has proven to be an effective method to deliver patient care. Personnel are on scene when we need them. Once their tasks have been completed, they are available to respond to following calls with the appropriate staffing to handle the call.
Sometimes it may appear that we may have more personnel on a scene than required for the call at hand. This information is gained only after our arrival. It is our belief that the most effective way to prevent an emergency situation from escalating is to have the appropriate number of personnel as soon as possible on scene and not to try to “catch up” later.
If you have any questions about the Perrysburg Fire Division, do not hesitate to give me a call.
Jeff Klein, Fire Chief