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HFPD: What does our EMS system look like?

In this post, we would like to cover some Hebron specific information about our emergency medical services (EMS).

Squad 42 - Stationed at Station 2 (Graves Road)

We staff our ambulances with a Firefighter/EMT and a Firefighter/Paramedic; or, two Firefighter/Paramedics. Yes, you read that correctly, all of our personnel are dually-trained as both Firefighters and EMTs or Paramedics. Our personnel rotate from the ambulance to the fire truck. The Hebron Fire Protection District staffs two advanced life support (ALS) ambulances 24/7/365. Squad 41 is located at Station 1 on North Bend Road and Squad 42 is located at Station 2 on Graves Road. The Hebron Fire Protection District has a total of 42 full-time personnel; of those, 30 are paramedics and 12 are EMTs.

There are times when both of our ambulances are not available as they are both on EMS calls at the same time. When that happens, a firetruck from Hebron will be dispatched along with a mutual aid ambulance from Burlington, Point Pleasant, or the CVG Airport. Our firetrucks cannot transport patients to the hospital, however, they carry a lot of the same equipment that would be found on an ambulance to initiate patient care.

A Captain is assigned to oversee all aspects of EMS to include ambulance operations, patient care, quality assurance and continuous quality improvement, training, and personnel certifications & licensures. Additionally, there are two Firefighter/Paramedics that carry extra responsibilities as EMS Coordinators that assist with CPR scheduling, EMT/Paramedic continuing education refresher courses, and equipment/supply ordering. What’s the difference between an EMT and a Paramedic? There are several differences between the two levels of certifications, one of the biggest is the initial training and education.

An EMT course typically lasts 3 – 4 months and ranges from 120 – 150 hours in total length, including clinical and field time. They learn essential skills such as patient assessment, CPR, basic airway management, splinting, and assisting with certain medications. EMTs usually work under the guidance and direction of a paramedic and follow a specific set of protocols/guidelines for patient care. Paramedics endure a more extensive and detailed training program which can last somewhere between 1 and 2 years or 1,200 to 1,800 hours. Their training includes advanced medical skills such as administering over 30 different medications, interpreting electrocardiograms (ECGs), advanced airway management such as intubation, intravenous (IV) and intraosseous (IO) therapy, and a more comprehensive assessment of the patient. Paramedics have a higher level of autonomy and are capable of making independent patient care decisions, also working under a specific set of protocols and their physician Medical Director.

We are honored to provide EMS to the citizens of our Fire District which includes all of Hebron and parts of Petersburg and Burlington. On a daily basis, we strive to improve our capabilities, knowledge, and overall patient care.

May 24, 2023

Brandon Schoborg

Captain, EMS

Hebron Fire Protection District

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