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Recent events have again reminded all Americans of the ever-present threats to the safety of our lives, our families and our communities. In our country, far too many citizens and firefighters are losing their lives or are being injured by fire each year. There are several thing’s that the public must be educated about, today when citizens of this nation need services such as emergency medical services, rescue, or the need to have fire suppressed.  It is the men and women of the America's Emergency Services who are the first called, the first to respond and the first to assist their fellow Americans who face a variety of life threatening emergencies.

Today beside’s the private sector, and the volunteer sector that provides both Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support.  Today America’s Firefighters duties include the traditional role in fighting fire, and fire rescue such as extrication, high rise rescues etc.  In the mid 1980’s several fire departments expanded the roles of these brave men and women to include providing emergency medical treatment, departments across the United States are trained as first responders, EMT’s, and Paramedics.   Today Fire Departments across the United States provide Advanced and Basic Ambulance services such as the Detroit Fire Department, New York Fire Department, Los Angles City and County fire Departments.  EMT’s and Paramedics employed by fire departments work about 50 hours a week. 

The Detroit and New York and Washington D.C. Fire Departments maintain and operate Emergency Medical Services Divisions, Ambulances and their crews are operated strategically located fire houses, through out the city.  Many Fire Departments through out the United states have cross trained their firefighters, for example in Grand Rapids, Michigan were Emergency Medical Services was provided by Mercy Ambulance, Buds, Life, and Rockford Ambulance service, in Kent County both the Sheriffs department, and the Grand Rapids Police Department operated non transport advanced life support units (Emergency Units) with cross trained police officers.  Police E-units were mobile and reduced response times; in 1990 the city hired an outside consulting group to conduct a feasibility study on EMS Response times.  The study was completed 6 months later and recommended that the city eliminate the police emergency unit program in favor of training the city’s firefighters as Medical First Responders. (MFR)
Some of these workers, especially those in police and fire departments, are on call for extended periods.  Because emergency services function 24 hours a day, EMT’s and paramedics have irregular working hours that add to job stress.

Full and part-time paid EMT’s and paramedics were employed in a number of industries. About 4 out of 10 worked in local and suburban transportation, as employees of private ambulance services. About 3 out of 10 worked in local government for fire departments, public ambulance services and EMS.  Another 2 out 10 were found in hospitals, where they worked full time within the medical facility or responded to calls in ambulances or helicopters to transport critically ill or injured patients.  The remainder worked in various industries providing emergency services.
                                               Michigan's Law, Act 164 Yielding to Emergency Vehicles
Immediate approach of authorized emergency vehicle; duty of driver of another vehicle; duty of streetcar operator; violation as civil infraction. (1) Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle equipped with not less than l lighted flashing, rotating, or oscillating lamp exhibiting a red or blue light visible under normal atmospheric condition from a distance of 500 feet to the front of the vehicle and when the driver is giving audible signal by siren, exhaust whistle, or bell:

(a) The driver of another vehicle shall yield the right of way and shall immediately drive to a position parallel to and as close as possible to the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway, clear of an intersection, and shall stop and remain in that position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer.

(b) The operator of a streetcar shall immediately stop the car, clear of an intersection, and shall keep it in that position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer.

(2) This section does not relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of persons using the highway.

(3) A person who violates this section is responsible for a civil infraction.
                           Our First Line of Defense
There’s no greater gift a man/woman who sacrifices their life so that others may live. These are the words that our Police Officers, Firefighters; and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) live and work by everyday. Now that the United States of America has increased its homeland security alerts level to high.  These men and women serve as the First Line of Defense
and Rescue in this new era of  international and domestic terrorism.

There are over 1 million Firefighters in the United States, of which approximately 750,000 are volunteers.  Local Police Departments have an estimated 556,000 full-time employees including about 436,000 sworn personnel. Sheriffs' Departments account for 291,000 Full-time employees, including 186,000 sworn personnel. There are over 175,000 Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). 

These men and women wear the uniforms of their various professions chosen careers, such as Firefighters committed to provide Fire suppression.  Police Officers committed to provide protection and maintaining law and order, and Emergency Medical Service Personnel committed to the pre-hospital treatment and transportation for both medical and traumatic injuries.  These three public safety agencies today are serving the citizens of the United States as the primary agencies charged with the prevention, defense, and response as defined by the Department of Homeland Security.  Each agency serves a particular role and responsibility.  However September 11, 2001 exposed the need for the three agencies to have the ability to respond to, coordinate and communicate with one another in the course of a (MCI) Mass Casualty Incident.

The Government Annual budgets post 9-11-2001 federal budget has included expenditures that are still needed in the strengthening of America's First Responder’s made up of Police, Fire and EMS.  The expenditures are meant to better prepare Police, Fire and EMS in making our homeland safer.  The Department of Homeland Security defines “First Responders,” as Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

On September 11, 2001, Firefighters, Police officers, EMT’s and Paramedics made the ultimate sacrifice as they ascended stairs in the two towers of the World Trade Center to reach victims trapped at the point of impact and above.  Police, Fire and EMS are credited for the evacuation of 25,000 men and women prior to the towers collapsing, Several Hindered EMT’s Paramedics, Firefighters, and Police Officer’s from various Jurisdictions were injured as a result of continued rescue efforts.  In 2005 two (2) EMT’s and have died as a result of their response after developing fatal respiratory illnesses.  Many other EMT’s and Paramedics have been diagnosed with respiratory illnesses that have lead to permanent disabilities and their health continues to decline. 

Today EMS, Fire, and Law Enforcement agencies who have received Federal money are utilizing these funds to provide additional training, better communication systems and equipment to better respond to Mass Casualty Incidents (MCI).  First Responders who are charged with the protection, Fire suppression, and medical treatment continue to prepare for any potential terrorist attack or attacks.

Just as the military continues it missions in both Iraq and Afghanistan in combating various terrorist cells, the same is true about are “First Responders, ” continue their efforts to both prevent and yet prepare for any natural or terrorist attack.

This ongoing training and retooling of equipment, mutual aid resources, and providing communications that provides interagency use.  As Police Officers, Firefighters, EMT’s and Paramedics will be the first responders to any potential terrorist attack and or natural disaster these professional men and women will once again be on the front lines and will be the ones called to respond.  

It has been 4 ½ years since the Untied States was so cowardly attacked and already it seems that the public has forgotten the sacrifices that were made on September 11, 2001, when terrorists boarded airplanes, turned them into flying missiles, causing the murder of the passengers and crew members.  But we must also remember that on September 11, 2001, Police, Fire, and EMS responded to the world Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington and to a field Pennsylvania as a result of their responses over 25,000 individuals were rescued prior to the towers collapsing and the pentagon wall falling.  4 ½ years ago actors put on a benefit program “To honor the heroes of 911, and joined the call to fight.

”Today’s many of these same actors are protesting our President and our military’s action that has thus far prevented any additional terrorist attacks in the United States, however other countries such as our great neighbor “Great Britain,” was attacked in 2005.  This is proof that we can not relent or retreat or other attacks will begin again. 

Germany and France governments have accused the President and the United States of being a “warmonger.”  Those same accusations are being stomped by individuals and actors decrying our fight that has kept terror off our shores.  The brave men and women who serve in our “volunteer,” military have given their lives in the service and protection of their country.  The men and women who are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq remember that on September 11, 2001, 3,025 Civilians, Military, Police, Fire, and EMS were killed. Our first line of Defense showed their heroism and sacrifice saved over 25,000 souls. Our Military is doing the same they are saving and protecting our nation along with their heroism and sacrifices. Apparently actors and some Americans fail to understand that these battles have proven to prevent more loss of American citizens, Firefighters, Police officers, and EMS Personnel. 

An editorial that was given by a Canadian television anchor Gordon Sinclair from Toronto stated the following:  This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States. When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there.  I saw it. When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries into help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes.  Nobody helped.

The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, war-mongering Americans. I’d like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them?  Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon - not once, but several times and safely home again. You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here. When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke. I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble?

I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake. Our neighbors have faced it alone, and! I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those.”  What a remarkable in moving editorial one which still rings true today. 

If Iraq is not stabilized as well as terror cell’s defeated and disarmed, America will once again place our soil, treasures and our front line defenders of Emergency Medical Services, Firefighters, and Police Officers, back in another Mass Casualty Incident that our military would have thwarted.    

What do we say to these brave men and women who have make the sacrificed their lives, who have been injured and disabled so that others may live, including the lives of the very celebrities who are willing to participate in making movies of war, and then decry the military’s action preventing yet another 9-11? 

The Federal Governments First Responder Initiative is helping these brave Americans do their jobs better. Building on existing capabilities at the Federal, State, and local level, the First Responder Initiative provides an incentive to develop mutually supportive programs that maximize effective response capability.  Through joint planning, clear communication, comprehensive coordination, mutual aid at all levels and increased information sharing, America's First Responders need the newest training and equipment that will save lives in the event of another terrorist attack, now is not the time to stop the Military or decrease funding for our First Responders.

Many people have visited websites which contain tributes to the many civil and civilians hero’s of September 11, 2001, and one image that frequents so many sites including my own has been the picture of a New York firefighter passing the U.S. Flag to a Soldier with the caption reading “will take it from here.”

The military has been fighting the war on terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq.  We must continue with Operation Enduring Freedom in the fight to prevent further terrorist attacks that cause such destruction and the loss of more American lives. Many people visit this wonderful site for various reasons, some visit to learn more about our Paramedics EMT’s, Firefighters, and Police Officers.  Some visit to learn about whom these individuals are, and others are actual members of these Public Safety Services. 

Please keep the men and women of EMS, Law Enforcement, Firefighters, EMS and our Military in your prayers.

Written by:  David D. 
Owner Dave's EMS Headquarters
Updated Article 02-08-2006
Sources: Office of Homeland Security, FEMA, Gordon Sinclair
The table's set. The meal's prepared, our guests will arrive soon.  My husband once more disappears with a hope of keeping a child alive.  While waiting at home again alone our plans have gone awry.

My first impulse is merely to sit down and cry.
But soon again I realize the importance of my life when I agreed to take on the duties of being a fireman's wife.

While there are many drawbacks, I'll take them in my stride.  In the gusting winds and raging flames may be his final fate, but with God's help I can remain my fireman's faithful mate.  EMT’s and paramedics employed by fire departments work about 50 hours a week. Those employed by hospitals frequently work between 45 and 60 hours a week, and those in private ambulance services, between 45 and 50 hours.
Life of a Volunteer
Chief:
Leaps short buildings with a single bound
Is more powerful than a ladder truck
Is faster than a speeding bullet
Walks on water
Gives policy to GOD
Assistant Chief:
Leaps short buildings with a single bound
Is more powerful than a pumper
Is just as fast as a speeding bullet
Walks on water if sea is calm
Talks with GOD
Engineer:
Barely clears Quonset hut
Loses tug-of-war with pumpers
Can fire a speeding bullet
Swims well
Is occasionally addressed by GOD
Captain:
Makes high marks on buildings when trying to leap them
Is run over by a pumper
Can sometimes handle a gun without inflicting self-injury
Dog paddles in swimming pools
Talks with animals
Lieutenant:
Runs into buildings when trying to leap them
Recognizes pumpers two out of three times
Is not allowed to use guns
Can stay afloat if properly instructed in the use of a life jacket
Talks to walls
Firefighter:
Lifts buildings and walks under them
Kicks fire engines and equipment out of the way
Catches speeding bullets in his teeth and eats them
Freezes water with a single glance
He is GOD

CHAIN OF COMMAND (humor)
           First Responders Facts

•  There are over 1 million firefighters in the United States, of which approximately 750,000 are volunteers.
•  Local police departments have an estimated 556,000 full-time employees including about 436,000 sworn enforcement personnel.
•  Sheriffs' offices reported about 291,000 full-time employees, including about 186,000 sworn personnel.
•  There are over 155,000 nationally registered emergency medical technicians(EMT)

NAVIGATION MENU
Firefighters and Emergency Medical Services
The fire fighting community and emergency medical services have a rocky relationship there are many reasons for this issue.  For example many cities have gone to a two tier system providing emergency medical services. The first tier is providing first responders this is the most minimal level of training in the emergency medical services certification level. In the late 1980’s many large cities began to utilize firefighters by creating a dual level of service, after many cities conducted a feasibility and utilization study.

Many larger fire departments firefighters along with their respective unions fought the transition, utilizing the argument that firefighters would be unavailable to respond to structural fires because of staffing issues and concerns of firefighters being tied up on medical calls.

Although several cities provide EMS services combined with fire services, using New York and Detroit as two examples, Emergency Medical Service Personnel are not dual trained as firefighters, although EMS services are operated with fire department  as  operations that are run separately.

I come from a family of two brothers and three sisters, one brother works as a firefighter with a ladder company, the second brother works for the Sheriff’s department, and one of the three sister’s works in the emergency department of a local hospital.

My brother, [jerk] who is a firefighter strongly resents the role as a first responder in the fire department.  I’m currently a member as a Emergency Medical Technician- Paramedic. When we gather at family functions such a Christmas, birthdays etc, the conversations always seems to turn adversarial. His argument is that he trained to be a firefighter not a medic. Many times he’s gone out of his way to argue that firefighters do not belong in the role of first responders, and how he dislikes working with EMS Personnel.

Now as I’ve indicated above, many firefighters resent being forced into the dual role, and instead of taking their frustrations out over the program to their fire chiefs and their  union officers are unable to resolve the issue, I have seen firefighters choose instead to openly displayed there hostility to the EMS crews that has been dispatched to the scene.

Now in fairness not every firefighter resents the dual role, many younger firefighters share the excitement of rendering assistance to the sick and injured. The attitude is also different with smaller community and rural fire departments including volunteer fire departments who work exceedingly well with Emergency Medical Service Personnel.

Why is a respect such an enormous problem with in large cities? Once again using new York as an example Emergency Medical Services was run by the city as a separate entity when in the mid 80’s the Department of Emergency Medical Services for New York city under the direction of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and it’s then fire commissioner decided to merge Emergency Medical Services with the Fire Department. 
As you can imagine firefighters and honestly New York city EMS personnel opposed the merger despite the joint efforts of firefighters Emergency Medical Services Personnel, the city eventually went ahead and combined the two departments into one (Click here) for the most objective web site pertaining to the hostility faced by Emergency Medical Technicians are resented and mistreated by angry firefighters.
Written by: Dave D
davesems

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                     Subject: Regarding suspicious activity directed against EMS and Fire agencies recently.

Suspicious Sector Activities and Countermeasures During the past two weeks, Emergency Services Sector (ESS) organizations experienced suspicious activities that were reported to proper authorities. Seven fire departments received anti-war/anti-government videotapes. Three departments described suspicious videotaping of their firehouses. Also, hackers attempted to access the secure computer files of a county Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agency.

The EMR-ISAC cautions that the preceding occurrences are only examples and not inclusive. In addition to the continuing threats against police officers, these events increase concerns that the ESS is one of America's critical infrastructures being targeted by domestic and transnational adversaries.

Considering the potential threat against ESS organizations, the EMR-ISAC provides the following ten reminders (i.e., countermeasures) to sector leaders, which were edited from Department of Homeland Security sources:

Alert all personnel to guard against individuals with apparently legitimate credentials and/or wearing recognizable uniforms to gain access to facilities and sensitive areas.

Avoid divulging information about organizational capabilities, plans, operations, and training to anyone who is not formally validated or vetted.

Provide adequate lighting for and maintain control over all entry and exit points.

Establish and enforce credentialing and badges of full-time, part-time, and volunteer personnel.

Inspect all parcels and packages immediately upon arrival that are delivered by the postal services, vendors, and visitors.

Require rigorous inspections, inventorying, and accounting of all sensitive or high-value materials, equipment, systems, and vehicles.
G.R. Fire Frequency: 460.600/465.600   Kent County Fire Frequency: 154.730
      LEARN MORE WHY THIS WAS A BACKWARDS DECISION MADE BY THE CITY
LOS ANGELES
   COUNTY
  FIRE DEPT
           &
LOS ANGELES
      CITY
  FIRE DEPT
  OPERATE
BOTH ENGINE
           &
  AMBULANCE
The life of an Emergency Medical Services worker is a demanding one. We work long hours and repeatedly find ourselves in stressful circumstances, but we are always expected to perform at our very best. The pay is low in comparison to the workload. and many dangers encountered in performing rescues.  EMS Personnel are frequently forgotten about until our service and skills are required, and even then, EMS Personnel are not always appreciated. It is often times a thankless job, but EMT's and Paramedics give it their all, dedicating their lives to helping others.

What is a surprise is that a great deal of lack of appreciation comes from the men and women who serve as firefighters.  What is further curious is this often hidden fact, over the past 15 years the number of fire responses have declined, and Both the Fire Union and Fire Administrators feared sustaining the loss of jobs as a result, and the fear the city administrators would consider closing  fire stations, and eliminate equipment. 

This very scenario played out with the FDNY, faced with the budget and manpower being eliminated FDNY Fire Commissioner with the backing of then Mayor Giuliani, they eyed options to prevent the elimination of manpower and firehouses therefore they came up with the idea of merging NYC-EMS into the FDNY to pad the response numbers.  The FDNY firefighters were outraged and fought along with the help of their union to avoid cross training the medics.

Similar scenarios caught on in many other cities creating a new level of pre-hospital care today referred to a Medical First Responders, as the news article above shows the City of Grand Rapids Fire Chief faced with reduced fire-responses went to the city commission and Medical director to engage a study to remove Advanced Life Support non-transport units operated by crossed trained Police Paramedics who responded along with City and County ALS EMS Agencies.

The study completed backed the Fire Chief and Medical Directors plan to have firefighters respond to both medical and trauma incidents.  The Police E-Unit program (http://www.davesems.com/e-unit.html) was eliminated and firefighters were sent to school to be certified as “MFR,” engines were stocked with AED’s, suction units, backboards and the program was imitated.  However firefighters tried to fight their additional role citing that fire service was a specialized skill and had no business becoming involved with EMS responses.  The complaints grew stronger when Grand Rapids Firefights were called in the middle of the night to transients down, medicals, they complained to one another how it cut into their relaxation time such as long movies, pool games etc.

As rank and file firefighters complain they did not choose to render medical treatment, instead their claim that they have a designated role in the suppression and prevention of fire.  The life of an EMS worker is not an easy one. They must constantly deal with long hours away from home and family, high stress emergency situations and duties that keep them busy throughout their shifts. It takes a very special person to choose to make this kind of a commitment to serving their community.  City and Fire administrators must think carefully EMS and Fire services are indeed specialized professions and are not interchangeable.  Furthermore they most look at the devastation caused by the City of New York merging EMS Services with Fire.  FDNY EMS personnel today suffer low wages, open hostility from firefighters, and are subjected to low wages and morale.
EMS N FIRE SERVICES ARE TWO DIFFERENT SERVICES
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE NYC EMS SERVICES IN NEW YORK
On September 11, 2001, Police Officers, Firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians, and Paramedics worked together as one to rescue and evacuate over 25,000 from the World Trade Center Twin Towers, when the towers collapsed.  41 FDNY and Private EMS Service EMT’s and Paramedics & Volunteers were killed another 116 EMT’s and Paramedics were injured.  60 NYPD and Port Authority Police Officers as well as 1 police K-9 were also killed and an additional number
of Police Officers were injured, In addition 343 Firefighters (-) minus the 2 FDNY Medics were killed and causing injuries to Firefighters around the towers.

The total number of EMT’s, Paramedics, Firefighters, Police Officers and Port Authority Police Officers killed on September 11, 2001, was 444
             September 11,2001
Time stood still that tragic morning "The World Trade Center has been struck by a plane" the reporters echoed over and over again "Our country is under attack" exclaimed President Bush.

There was an eerie silence in the sky as all planes had been grounded Thousands of lives lost...Brave Firemen, EMT’s, Paramedics, and Police Officers had given up their Lives for the safety of many.

God be with us and give us strength to get through the war we are waging against Terrorist...

We Pray for support for all the victims and all the families that of the lost and those sicken as a result of their response

                                                                      We Will Never Forget!   We Will Never Forgive!
NEW EMS, POLICE, FIRE, AND MARINE FREQUENCIES SITE PAGE ADDED
IAFC
2006 Rule that Implemented Provisions Extending PSOB Coverage to Victims of Heart Attacks and Strokes in the Line of Duty.
Fairfax, VA, August 14, 2006…The final rule for the Public Safety Officers Benefit Program (PSOB) has been released by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and will go into affect on September 11, 2006.  These new regulations implement provisions of the Hometown Heroes Survivor Benefit Act, passed into law in 2003, which extend PSOB coverage to victims of heart attacks and strokes in the line of duty.

The PSOB Program was created by the U.S. Department of Justice in 1976 to assist the families of fallen public safety officers with survivor benefits.  The program was expanded in 1990 to include public safety officers who are permanently and totally disabled as a result of a catastrophic injury in the line of duty and again in 1998 to cover
higher educational costs of spouses and dependents.  In 2001, the base payment to survivors was increased to $250,000.

Departments that need to file a PSOB claim should visit psob.gov. This new web site has been created by the PSOB office to facilitate the claims process and automate files to ensure accountability.  Claimants have three years following the injury or fatality of an officer to file all pertinent reports and the PSOB office has staff members to assist in the process.
Grand Rapids Fire Department Response Times Questioned
The Grand Rapids Fire Department is under fire for it’s response times this time regarding a “cardiac,” call.  A station located lest than a mile and a half from the address was not in its quarters, not because of a fire, not because of another medical or traumatic injury, but instead one of the four crew members was downtown “changing clothes,” per Grand Rapids Deputy Fire Chief Jeff VanDellen.

The Grand Rapids Fire Department took over in 1989 as “Medical First Responders,”
Setting the stage for eliminating cross trained Police Officers/Paramedics that were fully equipped Non-Transport Advance Life Support Units.

The argument and study by the City of Grand Rapids stated using firefighters as MFR would increase response times for medical emergencies.  Firefighters opposed the plan stating they were not EMS Personnel and showed extreme distaste to the program.

Fire Equipment throughout the city where equipped with basic medical equipment, that included back-boards c-collars and AED, (automatic defibrillators.  On Thursday August 30, 2006, a husband and his wife had awoken a short time later the husband fell unconscious his wife called 911 immediately requesting help from the Grand Rapids Police Dispatch Center.

Dispatched to the scene was American Medical Response (AMR) an advanced Life Support Private Ambulance Service staffed with two Paramedics was dispatched.  In addition the Grand Rapids Fire Department Dispatch Unit attempted to send out Engine “!3,” it’s station located at Leonard and Plymouth  which is located less than a mile and a half from the fallen victim.

The problems?  The engine was not in it’s quarters the four firefighters staffing the quarters were downtown replacing wet gear for the only firefighter qualified to drive.  The deputy chief was unable to provide information as to why all four firefighters had to accompany the engine.

Located at the station is one (1) Ladder Truck and one (1) Engine, generally a B-unit also known as a brush truck is kept at station 13.  If the crew had stayed behind and moved the AED and medical equipment to the B-Unit the patients chances for survival would have increased.  AMR and the Engine arrived simultaneously seven (7) minutes after the initial call for assistance from the victim’s wife.

Firefighter attitudes regarding MFR has remained an issue since the program went into effect, most calls firefighters do little to nothing prior to Advanced Life Support (ALS)Arrival as witnessed documented and complained about.
                                                                 (SEE ABOVE FOR ARTICLE CONCERNING 1989 STUDY)
  Grand Traverse County
(MI) Volunteer Fire Dept
Water Relay to House
Fire
After a Major Storm hit Grand Rapids Michigan these hard working Firefighters wait for
power Co.
  Traverse City State Hospital Fire House from early 1900's
EMT ‘s and Paramedic’s Save Lives
While most will quickly understand the fact that a Paramedic is of a higher rank and more advanced training than an EMT (Emergency Medical technician), many people are unaware of the difference in the skills possessed by the two professional levels.

What can a paramedic do that an EMT can not do?

An EMT can perform CPR, oxygen administration, artificial ventilations, basic airway management, spinal immobilization, vital signs as well as bandaging and splinting, and provide jump starts to a stilled heart using an AED (Automatic Defibrillator)

A Paramedic performs all the skills of an EMT, with the inclusion of the following; a Paramedic is able to perform advanced airway management such as endotracheal intubations, obtain electrocardiograph readings (EKGs) with the training and skills to treat arrhythmias, I.V. initiation, cardioversion, defibrillation, deliver pain and cardiac medications, just to name a very few advanced skills.

A Paramedic has the training and skills that are a lot more advanced than a basic EMT in many ways. Paramedics obtain the most sophisticated training in equipment, medications and invasive therapies.

However, without basic life support (CPR) for example provided to a cardiac patient by EMT’s a Paramedics intervention is useless a patient will become brain dead with out circulation and breathing maintenance.

The differences between an EMT and a Paramedic in training and skills, when it comes to salaries are most often below $30,000.  Income ranges increase with dramatically between EMT’s and Paramedics who are employed by County run EMS agencies, Fire Department EMS Divisions, and Hospitals trauma centers that employ the two skilled levels.  A large amount of EMS personnel all over the United States are volunteers a critical role especially in rural communities.

The true fact is that both EMT’s and Paramedics are a critical role to Emergency Services that also includes Police and Fire Services.  EMS Medics provide vital life saving services that saves lives every day 365 days a year across America and many other Nations.
Michigan Fire Department’s Insignia’s
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed S.R. 215, a resolution sponsored by U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) that designates September 25th as National First Responder Day. The bi-partisan resolution was co-sponsored by 30 of Allard's Senate colleagues.

"First responders in Colorado and across the country regularly risk their lives to protect property, uphold the law and save the lives of others," said Senator Allard. "I am proud that so many of my Senate colleagues have joined me in this effort to recognize our first responders by designating September 25th as National First Responder Appreciation Day to honor the contributions, sacrifices and dedication  to public service made every day by first responders."  The resolution passed the Senate June 21, 2007 and has received support from a variety of first responder organizations.

When tragedy strikes a community, first responders always answer the call," said Ronald Graton, President of the Colorado State Fire Fighters' Association. "Our hearts go out to the Charleston, S.C. community and the families of the firefighters who lost their lives this week serving their fellow citizens and we are always reminded that there is never enough we can do to thank the public servants who make the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Having Senator Allard work to set aside a national day of recognition for first responders is something special. On behalf of the 157 fire departments and more than 4,500 firefighters in Colorado, and the thousands of firefighters and first responders across the nation, I'd like to express my gratitude and support for this important effort."

"The service and sacrifice of America's public safety professionals is too often taken for granted," said Craig W. Floyd, Chairman and CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. "Each year,  hundreds of law enforcement officers, firefighters and other first responders are killed in the performance of duty, and many others are injured. We owe all of these men and women, and their families, a huge debt of gratitude. Senator Allard is to be commended for his leadership in giving our public safety professionals the support and appreciation that they need and deserve."

"It's gratifying to see the contributions of emergency medical services responders recognized in a National First Responder Appreciation Day," said National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians President Jerry Johnston. "EMTs and paramedics everywhere are a vital part of the first response team but often overlooked for recognition. We applaud this effort and encourage the nation to take advantage of this opportunity to acknowledge the selfless work of all emergency medical services responders, regardless of the agency, organization or service they represent."  AllardFirstResponderResolution.pdf
   Detroit Fire Department/EMS & Police Receives Donated New Vehicles
2014--The Detroit Fire Department’s EMS Division unveiled All New Emergency Medical Service, EMS, units in early 2014.  The new medic units will enhance the ability to provide Detroit residents with the level of service they haven’t been receiving due to frequent break downs that plague the EMS Division for years.   Detroit Fire, EMS, and Detroit Police recieved Donated New  Emergency Service Vehiles through Private Corprate donations from Penske, Ford, GM, and Chrysler, just to name a few.
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   GRFD MEDICAL FIRST RESPONDER UNITS
Below is information that was so kindly shared with Dave's EMS Headquarters via an e-mail, after reviewing the site's content I knew this information had to be shared with not only Firefighters, but also EMS and Law Enforcement.  I have included a vast portion of the E-mail received from mesotheliomaweb because so much useful and necessary information was included.  I thank Lauren for allowing me to share the information below.

We have a resource that would be of particular interest to others, especially firefighters. It is dealing with a health issue that many are now facing; it is called Mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a rare lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Because of the nature of this disease, it can remain undetected for over a decade before the patient shows any signs of illness. In fact, many are now facing the deadly consequences of asbestos, years after they have been exposed. Firefighters are at risk of repeated asbestos exposure because they work in environments that can contain asbestos fibers. Over time, this can lead to serious health problems, including Mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses.
Asbestos was used in a variety of construction materials before 1980, due to its ability to resist corrosion and extreme heat. Eventually, studies were published that showed asbestos to be extremely dangerous, and asbestos was slowly eliminated from construction. However, many buildings and homes still contain asbestos materials. It is possible that up to 80 percent of all buildings constructed before 1978 contain harmful asbestos. 

The site I am suggesting deals with this grave health issue and provide helpful information and support to those who may be dealing with this hardship. There are also resources specifically designed for firefighters, such as a list of "Materials that Could Contain Asbestos" and tips for prevention of exposure.

Mesothelioma Web is one of the most established and comprehensive sites on Mesothelioma, providing facts about palliative care, nutrition, and chemotherapy, as well as information on clinical trials. Mesothelioma Web is constantly adding new information and articles, including international news, so the information is always up-to-date. At www.mesotheliomaweb.org, visitors can sign up to receive a free information packet on asbestos exposure. There is also a phone number available for them to call, where they can talk to a real person to find out more about asbestos-related diseases.

This is a very serious health concern and it is my hope to raise awareness of asbestos exposure and Mesothelioma. Please consider adding this link to your page. The more people who know about this disease, the better.

Mesothelioma Web has created a page specifically for firefighters entitled "What Every Firefighter Should Know About Asbestos." Please check it out: http://www.mesotheliomaweb.org/firesection1.htm. (Dave's EMS Headquarters September 2009 Site of the Month) The resources and content are very critical and must know information.helpful.
Lauren  Mesothelioma web
Mesothelioma
Important Information Regarding First Responder/EMS Asbestos Exposure

The courageous and selfless men and women who serve their community as first responders undoubtedly face a number of occupational risks each and every day. Whether they are firefighters, emergency medical technicians, or police officers, first responders devote their lives to serving others, and, more often than not, they are saving the lives of others at the risk of their own health and safety.

One of the dangers that first responders face is that of asbestos exposure, which may lead to the development of mesothelioma, a fatal cancer that has no cure. First responders may be exposed in a number of ways, but the most common method of exposure involves inhaling asbestos fibers that somehow became airborne. Asbestos fibers generally become airborne when asbestos-containing materials are disturbed or damaged, such as during a fire or an explosion. If inhaled, asbestos fibers can cling to the lining of the lungs for decades before an individual may begin to experience mesothelioma c cancer symptoms, including difficulty breathing, chronic cough, and the presence of fluid within the lung cavity.

Because well over 35 million residences and commercial buildings in the U.S. harbor asbestos-containing materials, first responders are at a heightened risk of asbestos exposure. There are, however, several important safety precautions that all first responders can take when assisting at the scene of a fire or explosion in a building that may have contained asbestos. For firefighters, it is necessary to wear a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) at all times while at the scene of an emergency, especially after the fire has been extinguished and cooling rubble and debris may still be releasing asbestos fibers into the air. Emergency medical technicians and police officers should wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth when responding to an emergency where asbestos may be airborne to prevent inhaling or ingesting errant asbestos fibers.

A diagnosis of mesothelioma (often referred to as (asbestos cancer) is a devastating reality. By understanding and practicing important asbestos safety procedures, all first responders can greatly limit their chance of asbestos exposure, and ultimately decrease their chance of one day receiving a diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer.
For additional information regarding asbestos safety and mesothelioma cancer, please visit Mesothelioma.com.

Jennifer Miller
Awareness and Outreach Coordinator
Mesothelioma.com
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Plainfield MI Firefighters at command postPlainfeild Firefighters is a Paid on Call Department as well as
VolunteersPlainfield apparatusReflective coating added for additional safety measures
  PLAINFIELD MICHIGAN TOWNSHIP FIRE            DEPT ON SENE OF FIRE ALARM
          City of Grand Rapids MI 
Fire Department Scene Command #4
GRFD Chief Laura Knapp
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Updated 09-10-2010
Grand Rapids MI 12-15-2009 Interim Grand Rapids Michigan Fire Chief Laura Knapp, a firefighter since 1984, with the Grand Rapids Fire Department has been selected as the new Grand Rapids Michigan Fire Department’s Fire Chief, Knapp is the first woman to hold the job in the city.

City Manager Gregory Sundstrom announced the appointment this Tuesday morning December 15, 2009.  Knapp replaces former Chief John VanSolkema, who retired this summer after 35 years with the department, including five as chief.  Knapp served as acting chief upon VanSolkema's retirement.

"I am proud on the accomplishments of Chief Knapp and confident that she will continue to provide effective leadership for the men and women of our Fire Department," Sundstrom said in a statement.  Knapp started as a firefighter and became a battalion chief in 1999. She was promoted to deputy chief in 2004, and a year later, earned the department's Medal of Merit.   She was a Grand Rapids YWCA Tribute Award winner in 2007.

An Adrian College graduate, she was a three-sport athlete and academic All-American basketball player. She was inducted into the college's athletic hall of fame.  She said she was honored and humbled by the appointment.  "I have had the privilege to work for the Grand Rapids Fire Department my entire career, and work side-by-side with all of the members of the department," she said. "I will continue to do my very best for the members of this department and the citizens of Grand Rapids as we face the challenges ahead."
DETROIT FIRE DEPARTMENT LADDER TRUCK DESTROYED AT ACCIDENT SCENE
February 01, 2010  A Detroit firefighter's decision to park a $600,000 ladder truck on train tracks while responding to a traffic accident is under investigation after an Amtrak train slammed into it late Monday morning.  One firefighter was treated and released at a metro Detroit hospital after he tried to drive the truck -- with No. 13 on its side -- off the tracks before it was struck about 11:50 a.m. by the westbound train, officials said.

Another firefighter initially parked the truck there in order to wash away gas puddled on the street from an earlier accident between a car and a flatbed trailer near the tracks at Lonyo and John Kronk. Authorities declined to identify either firefighter.  "I'm very upset," Executive Fire Commissioner James Mack said as he stood in front of the mangled ladder truck. "I think about the citizens when I've got a fire truck out of service. This is their fire truck. They pay for it."  Mack said no one was taken off duty after the accident, but the cause is under investigation.  Dan McNamara, president of the Detroit Fire Fighters Association, said Mack should be relieved no one was hurt.  "That's our No. 1 concern," he said.

McNamara said the union will monitor the investigation and the department's response.  "We're not going to knee-jerk react," he said.  Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said it appears all the warning devices at the intersection -- lights, bells and gates -- were operating properly at the time of the collision.  "It certainly is unusual for an emergency vehicle to be in the path of one of our trains," he said.

Bob McLean, 41, of Redford Township, who was driving nearby, said he saw the train hit the back of the ladder truck, violently pushing it off the tracks and into a pole.  "They couldn't move it, and the train just crunched it," McLean said. The ladder on the fire truck "flew up over top" of the train, he said. "I never heard nothing like it in all my life."

The Chicago-bound train had left Pontiac at 10:40 a.m., stopped in Detroit at 11:36 a.m., and then slammed into the ladder truck on its way to Dearborn, Magliari said.  Four crew members and 65 passengers were aboard the train, the engine of which sustained some visible damage. At least one passenger was taken from the train on a stretcher, but officials said the injuries were minor.  The wreck threw the train off schedule at least three hours, as it had been set to arrive in Chicago at 5:16 p.m, but it didn't arrive in Dearborn until 2:58 p.m.
Grand Rapids MI May 04, 2010 Tax Increase Proposal
A new 2008 Rescue-Engine the City of Grand Rapids purchased a number of these vehicles in order to upgrade the Cities Fire
fighting apparatus
A University of Michigan Survival Flight land in downtown Grands Rapids, MI The helicopter was display at the 2010 West Michigan Trauma Symposium
                 Rescue-Engine-5 on-scene New Light Bar added since purchase
Grand Rapids Fire Departments Ladder-1 on scene of House Fire in of          May 2010, Purchased with a FEMA Grant Awarded to GRFD
1970's NBC T.V. Show "Emergency" based on Crossed trained Paramedics
1970's NBC T.V. Show "Emergency"
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                 Grand Rapids Michigan Mayor floats idea to privatize EMS
Grand Rapids, Mich. If you have a medical emergency in the city of Grand Rapids -- anything from a heart attack to a broken toe -- a fire department crew responds and administers critical care in the first minutes. A few minutes after that, a private ambulance with paramedics and more advanced equipment arrives.

Mayor George Heartwell wants to cut out the fire department in that equation.  He's outlined a number of ideas to reinvent city government, and is well aware of the political risks in this idea. But, he said, the times dictate the need to take that risk.

"This is a wacky, out of control environment where we need to do major things to bring it back into line," he told 24 Hour News 8.

Though he hasn't figured out what the city might exactly save through privatization, the math is simple.  The fire department's budget is around $25 million per year. EMS calls make up 70% of their call volume.  "Private industry sometimes can do it cheaper," said Joe Dubay of the Grand Rapids Firefighter's Union. "I would dispute they can do it better."

A 2002 study by the Midland-based Mackinaw Center suggests private EMS crews work more cheaply than government paid medics. Contracts with private providers can include performance incentives.  The union maintains the numbers don't tell the whole story. Since the bottom line for a private company is profit, union leaders wonder what happens if a contract with the city is no longer profitable.

And once a program like the government-provided EMS is dismantled, it's more expensive to put back together.
As for the savings on staffing, Dubay points out the city will still have fires and they'll still need 10 or so strategically placed firehouses to get crews to those fires as quickly as possible.

"If you're going to have the staffing, you might as well get the best bang for your buck," Dubay said, "and also have us doing EMS."

Heartwell said that, for now, privatizing EMS and other services are just ideas.  "In any normal environment, a politician wouldn't even talk about these things. You'd just push them back. You don't talk about them. This is not a normal environment we're in."
Source  (WOOD-By: Joe LaFurgey) -  Wood TV8 News
Over 2010 at least four Grand Rapids Fire Engines and/or Truck Damages due to Inattentive Drivers
Grand Rapids Fire Department Ladder Truck Struck
For the third time this year, the Grand Rapids Fire Department's Ladder 3 on Bridge Street is using a spare, after a semi-truck jack-knifed into the side of the rig while the crew blocked traffic during that accident.  No one's been hurt in the accidents, and that's part of the plan. Department regulations and federal law require the fire department to send two crews to expressway accidents, one to deal with the crash and another to block traffic to protect that first crew.  
Grand Rapids Engine-1 involved in accident while responding to call
                 Grand Rapids Fire Department Engine 9 on scene of a Med-One "Medical'
On Scene Video
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After a Major Storm hit Grand Rapids Michigan these hard working Firefighters wait for
power Co.
After a Major Storm hit Grand Rapids Michigan these hard working Firefighters wait for
power Co.
After a Major Storm hit Grand Rapids Michigan these hard working Firefighters wait for
power Co.
National First Responder Day                September 25th
Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Voters on Tuesday May 04, 2010, voted “YES” on an income tax increase.  The proposal passed by a mere 204 votes.  Poor voter turnout resulted in a total of only 19, 322 casting either a yes or no question regarding the income tax increase was approved by 9,763 in favor to 9,559 against.

The “YES,” vote means the recall of both Grand Rapids, Michigan Police and Firefighters and creates openings for both Departments to add to depleted personnel.
The Grand Rapids Michigan Fire Department           Unveiled a New Asset to it's Fleet
After having two platform fire trucks damaged at three accident scenes while they were being utlized as blockers for Police, Fire, and EMS personnel safety on Grand Rapids Michigan freeways.  The Fire Department sought and recieved a grant to create a blocker vehicle, utilizing a retired city water  works dump truck and with assistance from the the Kent County Road Commission and the State of Michigan Department of Transportation have placed in service as of the first of August 2011 "Utility Two." 
Article:  Firefighters lock horns with LaSala, city managers over Pinellas' dual-responder EMS system
Publication:  St. Petersburg Times 
GRFD First Female Fire Chief             "Laura Knapp"
More information forthcoming over the next several months of 2012
Grand Rapids Michigan Fire Chief Lauara Knapp has introduced a new type of Fire Vehicle for the Department
February 2012  City commissioners approved a nearly $900,000 plan to purchase three quick response vehicles (QRV).  Chief Knapp states these three vehicles will be staffed by two firefighters opposed to the three currently staffing the cities fire engines.  The QRV units, which will be staffed by firefighters, would be used for smaller fires, medical calls and accidents.  Reducing rear and tear for the larger engines, in addition the new less expensive QRV's will aid the department in in cost reduction process.  The Units are being funded by the 2010 five year mileage Police/Fire Mileage passed in 2010.  The Grand Rapids City Manager claims the Quick Response vehicles will save based on this design $21 million over 15 years.

However, stats collected by other major cities claim that Quick Response Units are not effective, or able to attack major fires.
          Source of above "Concept QRV":  GRFD
This page was last updated: October 28, 2014
MATTAWAN FIREFIGHTER DIES ENROUTE TO REPORTED HOME EXPLOSION
On Tuesday February 26, 2013, a 22 year-old Mattawan, Mi, Firefighter/MFR was responding with another member of the Mattawan Fire Department, where responding to a reported home explosion when Firefighter Nate Fruin experienced a cardiac event.  Despite resuscitation efforts Fruin died.
Firefighter Nate Fruin-Courtsey Face Book
Mesothelioma Help  Added on October 28, 2014
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Sept 11 2001                                     Sept 11 2014