Many people might be surprised to learn how often firefighters respond to medical emergencies. The Chattanooga Fire Department responded to 17,453 incidents last year, and of those calls, about 48 percent of them were for medical emergencies.
This week, the fire department started a new pilot program designed to enhance responses to medical emergencies in Chattanooga. With this new initiative, three Quick Response Vehicles (QRVs) will begin responding to medical calls. They will be used in place of the large fire apparatus, which is what firefighters traditionally use, whether to respond to a fire, car wreck, or medical emergency.
The QRVs are specially equipped Ford Explorers staffed with two firefighters trained to the EMT or EMT Advanced level. “We believe the QRVs will allow us to provide a quicker and more efficient response to medical emergencies,” said Training Chief Phil Hyman. “When it comes to medical emergencies, such as heart attacks and strokes, the quicker you provide care, the better the outcome for the patient.”
The QRVs will be assigned to fire stations in the areas with the highest call volume for medical emergencies, including Station 5 on Willow Street, Station 8 on Hickory Valley Road, and Station 19 just off Hixson Pike, next to Abba’s House. Chief Hyman said the program will be evaluated carefully, but is optimistic the results will be positive. “If successful, we’re hoping to further enhance our service by adding more QRVs in the future.”
Source: Chattanooga Fire Department