Emergency Medical Services
When Scottsdale firefighter/paramedics step off a fire engine in response to a medical emergency, they bring the hospital into the living home. “We leave no stone unturned in our efforts to provide the highest quality care,” said John Whitney, Scottsdale Fire Department Emergency Medical Services Division Chief. The result: the department being recognized twice by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS).
“The fire service is evolving,” said Andrew McDonald, who was the SFD Emergency Medical Services Captain from 2013-2016. “Not only do we provide on-scene medical services, our Firefighter/Paramedics work hand-in-hand with emergency room medical staff to provide advanced care for patients. We are shifting away from providing segmented care to focusing on what is the best care for the patient from home to discharge.”
This emphasis Scottsdale Fire has on medical care often surprises people, said the department’s Medical Director Dr. Franco Castro-Marin, but “more than 70 percent of Scottsdale 911 calls are medical emergencies. That is why Scottsdale Fire is aggressive in adopting emergency medical care strategies to increase patient survival and quality of life. We have advanced the scope of the department’s physician oversight to include real-time ECG review, real-time follow up with crews and real-time physician notification during cardiac arrest cases. All this is done to improve the quality of care we provide and keep our Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) sharp.”
Scottsdale Fire Department is currently recognized as being a Premier EMS Agency by ADHS. Scottsdale Fire Department’s achievement represents the largest city in Maricopa County to receive this level of distinction. “We have adopted a stringent quality assurance program where every trauma, cardiac arrest, STEMI heart attack, and stroke call is analyzed to make sure the highest level of care was provided. We convert this data into a report card of sorts and we constantly are striving to get the highest grade possible,” Dr. Castro-Marin said.
“The strong commitment Scottsdale Fire has to quality patient care is commendable,” said Terry Mullins, Bureau Chief at the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma System. “They are a leader in adopting cutting edge strategies to ensure that the best possible care is provided to patients. The Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma System congratulates the City of Scottsdale Fire Department on their achievement of Premier Level status.”
Scottsdale Fire Department is also currently recognized by ADHS for being a HEART Safe community, Chief Whitney said. The fire department submits cardiac arrest data to ADHS, provides free Hands-Only CPR training to the public and has placed automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) throughout Scottsdale. “With this effort, emergency medical care starts with the loved one or bystander. This can increase the odds of survival and a stronger recovery” said Chief Whitney.