When a 911 call comes in, dispatchers often are not given precise or complete information. As such, units are dispatched on a worst-case scenario. To ensure the highest level of care, LFD sends the closest fire engine (staffed with a minimum of three personnel) or squad (staffed with a minimum of two personnel). Williamson County EMS sends an ambulance (staffed with two paramedics).
No medical call is “routine.” Most require assessing the patient, obtaining their vital signs, providing oxygen therapy, and moving them, at a minimum. EMS may also need to place an advanced airway, administer drugs intravenously, or monitor cardiac conditions. All of these procedures are completed more efficiently when the appropriate amount of help is on scene. Efficient care is our goal, and efficient care often is the difference between life and death.
Unfortunately, units have no way of knowing what they will encounter on a call until they arrive. They work in a “what if” and “all risk” business. Responding to the unknown is public safety.