EMS and AFD both respond to and work together at structure fires. In most cases the roles each agency performs are well defined and separate from each other. EMS is the primary provider of patient care and AFD performs all fire control related duties. There is a potential for overlap that does occur on a regular basis and is not formally addressed, either in policy or through mutual training objectives. A very good example of this overlap occurs when EMS arrives, sometimes minutes before AFD at a structure fire...
Apparatus positioning, witness interviews to determine fire location and/or possible need for rescues , and initial radio protocols, are very important to a safe and efficient fire attack. With appropriate guidelines, EMS and AFD can better coordinate their actions and ultimately provide better service for the fire victims.
In addition, EMS provides dedicated medical support for AFD at structure fires. It is important that issues like, “How to treat a fully bunkered, severely injured Firefighter” are practiced, reviewed, and improved upon before it occurs again.
EMS Paramedics and Commanders become proficient in removing Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while maintaining spinal movement restriction in an unconscious fire fighter