Thursday, January 19, 2012

Our Local Fire House at Work

Here's a video of the guys from House of Pain doing their thing. They are based in a fire house at Florida & Trinidad Ave. It's one of the busiest stations in the country. These guys work HARD. They handle all sorts of emergency calls, not just fires. Check out my archives for photos of them fighting a major tire fire in 2008.


Chris said...

It has to be said, though, that a large fraction of why they're so busy is because DC Fire & EMS has maintained the insane policy of using fire apparatus for first response to medical calls.

dt said...

It also has to be said that many people in their service area don't have any other means of medical care. A lousy system, but there it is.

As far as using fire/EMS as first responders for medical emergencies, I believe it's done that way in most cities in the US (certainly in every city I've lived in), so there's nothing particular about DC in this regard.

Chris said...

dt: To make clear what I'm talking about . . .I'm not referring to sending fire apparatus on those unusual occasions when EMS is incredibly slammed and there's not even a BLS unit available. I'm referring to dispatching fire apparatus as first response in almost all circumstances by default because by policy you do not have a fleet of EMS units that can handle a normal call volume. That's the way DC does it; but it's not typically done that way elsewhere, and for good reason: it's a horribly inefficient and expensive way to do things.

Washingtonian had a good article about this, and other horribly fscked-up things about EMS services in DC, a few years ago.

(Full disclosure: I was an EMT with EMS in another city for a few years, but not in DC or the DC area.)

dt said...

Ah, thanks for the clarification and the article Chris! That looks like a crazy & dangerous system. Has any progress been made in the 3 years since that article?