Emergency Medical Services

PURPOSE
Emergency Medical Service is a critical function of The Pullman Fire Department. Our Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians serve as an integral component of pre-hospital care in the community. It exists to provide emergency and non-emergent health care, medical transportation to the appropriate health care facility, and other rescue related services to the citizens and visitors of the City of Pullman, as well as 450 square miles of rural area including the towns of Johnson, Albion, and Palouse.

TRAINING
It is the Department's philosophy to maintain the highest level of quality pre-hospital emergency medical care. This is accomplished by providing ongoing relevant training and education, industry standard of care oversight for quality assurance, and management of all EMS equipment and supplies. The goal is to reduce the response time required to deliver critical care while increasing the chances for critically ill and injured patients to survive and recover.

Our dedicated professionals are properly equipped and proficient in the use of emergency cardiac defibrillators which are carried on all ambulance and fire apparatus. We follow the American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiac Resuscitation and update our personnel as new guidelines are published. They maintain certification in Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support as well as being cross-trained as firefighters. Additionally, the department employs 28 Fire Suppression personnel highly trained as EMTs that are capable of performing Basic Life Support techniques. Their extensive training in emergency medical care is continued throughout the year.


STATE OF THE ART EQUIPMENT
On board each ambulance is an array of medical equipment standard to the EMS industry, but also above what many EMS systems have. These items include IV infusion pumps, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide reading devices, video laryngoscope’s, automated CPR devices, Interosseous infusion drills, and coming in 2020 field ultrasound units. Additionally, our ambulances carry equipment that makes our field operations more efficient and safer for our EMT’s. From cots that lift and almost load themselves into the ambulance to specialty chairs that climb/descend stairs on their own, our employees and patients are safer now with these innovative products that keep us at the peak of our profession.


STATISTICS
A recent review of the EMS statistics for the past two years shows an average of approximately 2000 medical aid calls per year with 40% of those calls dispatched to WSU Campus and College Hill. Currently we operate 5 first responder ALS and BLS units with three to five certified paramedics on duty each 24 hour shift. Our average response time to most locations within the city is less than 5 minutes. 


What is the difference between an
Emergency Medical Technician  and a Paramedic you ask?

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
All Pullman Fire Department firefighters are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). An EMT is a trained professional who responds to emergency medical situations, such as car accidents, fires, or injuries occurring in homes or workplaces. Becoming an EMT requires nearly six months of specialized training. EMT's deliver a standard of care known as Basic Life Support (BLS), and perform lifesaving skills like Automated External Defibrillators, CPR, bleeding control, splinting, oxygen therapy and administration of epi-pens. Many assume that an EMT is a Paramedic, but this is not the case. EMTs are classified in levels, depending upon their degree of training. EMT training allows first responders to assess medical situations and stabilize patients for transport. Patients with more severe illnesses or injuries often require the ALS care provided by Paramedics for further stabilization and transport.


Paramedic (EMT-P)
Paramedics, or EMT-Ps, have more training than an EMT. Paramedic training takes at least 18 months and includes much longer internships in an emergency department and hospital specialty areas like labor and delivery, and significantly more field training on a transport ambulance. Paramedics are able to diagnose and treat a larger range of injuries and illnesses, and can deliver many lifesaving drugs to patients in the field. In addition to the use of manual defibrillators and cardioversion, Paramedics read and assess 12 lead EKGs to help make early determination of heart attacks in the field, delivering patients to the hospital more efficiently and better stabilized for rapid care by physician specialists. Paramedics perform Advanced Life Support (ALS), which also includes advanced airway management techniques like endotracheal intubation, needle thoracostomy, and can administer IV fluids and drugs.