The City of Seminole Fire Rescue contracts with Pinellas County to provide Advanced Life Support (ALS) First Responder service to the residents of the Seminole Fire/ EMS District. The EMS system is designed so that an ALS First Responder, usually fire department vehicles, arrive first on the scene and stabilize the patient or start EMS procedures, and then Sunstar, a private ambulance provider, will transport the patient to a hospital. This system allows the First Responder unit to go back in service and be available for the next medical emergency. There are very few systems in the United States that can compare with the exceptional level of emergency medical care provided to the residents of Pinellas County.
The City of Seminole Fire Rescue operates five ALS units, from four fire stations. There is at least one Paramedic on each fire engine. Of the District's total call volume, EMS calls which include vehicle accidents make up 84% of the total call volume. In calendar year 2014, the department answered 9,584 incidents emergency medical calls. The system practices closest unit dispatch, so it is not unusual to see a unit from Seminole in other jurisdictions if it is the closest ALS unit. Although it is a separate Section, EMS is provided by our personnel who are cross trained and certified as Firefighter/ EMT's and Firefighter/Paramedics.
The EMS section maintains employee certification files and processes employee medical certifications required by the State of Florida Department of Health, and maintains Pinellas County certifications required by the Medical Director’s Office. The EMS Section maintains contracts for service with the Board of County Commissioners and other organizations requesting specialized EMS services. In addition, the EMS Section researches, purchases and maintains EMS supplies and equipment including controlled substance requirements set forth by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration.
The EMS section is also responsible for Quality Assurance - The EMS Quality Management Program consists of documentation review, scene observation, skills evaluation, patient outcome and customer satisfaction review for the purposes of recognition of excellence and the identification of processes that can benefit from quality improvement activities. The quality assurance program as outlined in Florida Statutes Section 401.425.
Frequently Asked Questions
When I call for an ambulance, why does a fire engine show up?
The City of Seminole fire engines are strategically located throughout the community and staffed with fully trained and equipped Firefighters cross trained as Paramedics. They respond to treat and stabilize the patient prior to the arrival of the ambulance. In a true medical emergency, the difference between life and death can be a matter of seconds.
What does Advanced Life Support (ALS) mean?
The Term Advanced Life Support is used to describe advanced equipment and procedures such as cardiac monitoring (including 12 lead ECG’s), cardiac pacing, intravenous access (starting IV's), endotracheal intubation (the placement of a breathing tube into the airway), chest decompressions, and the delivery of life saving medications.
What is the difference between an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and a Paramedic?
An EMT is trained in basic life support skills (BLS) such as assessment, triage and treatment of medical and trauma patients, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), the use of Automatic External Defibrillator's ( AED's ), the delivery of oxygen.
A Paramedic is trained beyond the BLS level to include advanced skills such as cardiac rhythm interpretation, the application of an external cardiac pacemaker, endotracheal intubation (the placement of a breathing tube), Intravenous (IV) and Intraosseous therapy, and the ability to administer various cardiac, respiratory and pain medications.