Almost all of our responders are certified as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. This is a 120-hour didactic classroom education combined with hours of clinical practice in a hospital and ambulance environment.
Many more have gone on to continue their EMS education, attaining their Paramedic certification, which educates and trains the firefighters in advanced life support, being able to perform skills such as IV therapy, EKG monitoring, defibrillation, advanced airway control (endotracheal intubation) and drug therapy.
Each fire apparatus is equipped with its own Thomas Pack™ which stores all of the basic and advanced life support supplies and equipment. Some apparatuses are equipped with an advanced EKG/AED, which not only can be used by all of our responders to deliver the life-saving defibrillation to a victim of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) but can also be used by our paramedics to monitor the patient's 3-lead EKG and deliver a pacing rhythm.
Depending on the location of the EMS incident and the status of the transporting ambulance service, in many instances the Monroe Fire Department arrives and begins care of the patient minutes before the ambulance arrives. Vital signs are assessed and appropriate care is initiated. When the ambulance arrives, a report is given by the department's EMT or paramedic in charge to the ambulance paramedic and patient care is transferred. The patient is then transported by the ambulance to the appropriate hospital. When necessary, Monroe Fire Department personnel continue patient care en route to the hospital in the ambulance with the transporting ambulance paramedic.
As required by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, each department EMT and paramedic is required to attend classes in continuing education in various EMS-related subjects and attend a week-long refresher class every two years to retain their certification. Paramedics are also required to maintain certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, a certification standard for all paramedics, nurses, and other providers who may provide care for victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), stroke, or heart attack.
Some department paramedics have attained additional certifications in advanced EMS, such as Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support.
To provide our citizens and visitors more assurance of an advanced level of care, each shift is staffed with a line-support officer specializing in EMS. The EMS/Safety officer functions not only as Safety Officer at major incidents, but as the shift EMS supervisor, available to assist responding companies with Advanced Life Support (ALS) care as well as in the management of more complicated incidents. Under the call sign of "Med-1," this unit responds to all vehicle accidents with reported injuries, all rescues, all structure fires, and all EMS incidents where the patient is not alert and conscious.