Some changes have been made in the way fire departments are being dispatched in Starke County with the way medical calls are being handled and a meeting is scheduled for tonight to explain some of those changes.
Dave Pearman from the Washington Township Fire Department said the process is being streamlined.
“There were Post-it notes that were covering the monitors in our 911 dispatch office and we looked within the fire service and within emergency services altogether and asked ourselves what could we change about that?” stated Pearman.
The protocol is that firefighters are dispatched to medical calls and they are often called to accident scenes to help with extrication and first responder help. There are some instances where a firefighter may arrive at the scene first and can administer initial aid until EMS can arrive. Firefighters also assist EMS personnel on the scene in lifting or other duties. Pearman explained that the process is being changed where EMS can request fire department assistance if needed.
“In certain areas, for example, fire will be dispatched automatically. EMS will request for dispatch to dispatch fire. However, in some cases – there were some stories reported a couple of months ago how difficult that may be in the incorporated areas to send the fire department on every single medical call – for example, a minor injury or something like that. Nothing has changed protocal-wise. The fire department will always be there with EMS for chest pains and critical incidents. It really hasn’t changed. The process has changed a little bit.”
Oregon Township Trustee Mark Allen has called this meeting just so everyone can be on the same page with the changes. He said firemen want to be called to any emergency to help and he wants to do what’s best for the residents.
Allen commented that the meeting is for clarification purposes only and information will be given during the meeting so all services know what is to happen in case of an emergency.
The meeting is set for tonight at 6 p.m. CT at the Koontz Lake Fire Department.