Week 1: First Interactions

Sofia R -


This week, I started riding on the engines for my senior project. Overall, I saw four calls, and had one of the best lunches I have had in a long time. One goal of my project is to identify patterns of low-acuity calls, which are cases in which patients call 911 for a non-emergency, like a twisted ankle or because they could just be lonely. So far, I do not believe I have gotten to see this, because all four cases could have led to severe outcomes for patients. One thing that I have found very interesting is once EMS drops off a patient at the hospital, they do not know whether the measures they took helped the patient or if that person ever recovered.

As well as going with fire crews on shift, I met people from other agencies. I got to meet other fire fighters from CAFMA and EMTs and paramedics from Lifeline ambulances. During my observations, I got to see a small peek into how these groups interact. Hopefully, during my project I will better see how these agencies come together and how they each play roles.

Lastly, I have gotten to see some of the inner workings of the fire department. During my first ride, I was at downtown fire station 71. There, the department was hosting the oral board section of a test to see who can join the Technical Rescue Technician program (TRT).  This program teaches first responders how to properly rescue patients who have gotten stuck or injured in hard-to-reach places, like the Dells (second image below). During my second ride of the week, at station 74 which is located in a more residential area, the fireman of the crew had his 8-month testing, which the whole engine went to. This is his last round of tests until his final, end-of-year probationary test. When he passes, he will officially become a part of the department!

For this upcoming week, I hope to look at what drugs are carried by the crews, and how the paramedic can use them. So far, I have learned a lot from Prescott Fire, and I cannot wait to learn more.



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    Awesome work Sofia! Keep it up! Do you know what the end-of-year probationary test consists of? How is graded?
    That is so interesting!! What did you have for lunch? Are there any restrictions for talking about what the call was about or what happened during it?
    Toby Chang
    Sounds like a productive week! What kind of requirements do you need to pass to get into the TRT program?
    Lena, I am not sure what they consist of or how they are graded, but throughout the year they take tests that help them see what will be on it. The 8-month test included tying knots to hoist equipment to other firefighters, setting up ladders, cutting roof tops, and starting equipment like the jaws of life.
    Yajaira, for lunch I had birria tacos, and I am definitely going back! I have to follow HIPPA laws, so I cannot talk about any personal identifiers of patients. For TRT, this type of rescue is getting people out of hard places. Often times rescuers have to set up rope systems and work with search and rescue. I am not sure of the full requirements, but I know there was a swimming test and oral board.

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