EMS Frequently Asked Questions
Dial 911 in the event of an emergency ONLY! When someone is badly hurt or suddenly sick and in danger, call EMS immediately. Call when someone's life is threatened, when someone faints or collapses, has persistent chest pain or difficulty breathing or is badly injured. Call if the victim needs the skills or equipment of emergency personnel. If unsure, call 911.
Going to a doctor's appointment or needing a prescription filled does not require professional EMS assistance. Calling EMS in non-emergencies does tie up the system and makes it harder for emergency personnel to do their job - responding to serious emergencies. However, if you’re ever in doubt, call 911 and the operator will help you get the assistance that you need.
Stay calm, speak clearly and stay on the phone until the emergency operator tells you to hang up. Tell the dispatcher where to find the person needing emergency care, who is hurt and sick and what happen. The dispatcher will also need to know what condition the victims is in and if any help can be given. Give the exact location of the emergency. Be prepared to answer the following questions: Is the patient awake? Is the patient breathing normally?
If the dispatcher gives you specific instructions, follow them and don't panic. Don't move someone who is injured unless they are in danger. Do try to keep them as comfortable as possible. If someone else is there with you, send them to meet the Fire Department personnel.
Paramedic programs were instituted during the early 1970's in order to provide definitive care for cardiac patients in the prehospital setting. Since that time their scope of practice has dramatically increased and paramedics now provide an array of advanced life support treatments for a variety of medical emergencies. A partial list of treatment modalities includes 12-lead ECG interpretation, advanced airway insertion (intubation), defibrillation, cardiac pacing, intravenous (IV) and intraosseous (IO) insertion and needle thoracostomy, as well as administration of medications for cardiac, respiratory, diabetic, metabolic, and overdose-related emergencies.
Because fire engine companies are more prevalent than ambulances, and because the Sanger Fire Department also staffs the fire engine with Paramedics when staffing allows, engines are dispatched to the scene to rapidly initiate either basic or advanced life support prior to arrival of the ambulance. The crews initiate either basic or advanced life support and create a well-orchestrated team effort called the medical incident command system. In the City of Sanger, the Fire Department sends an engine, and within our boundaries with County of Fresno, CAL FIRE responds an engine with a Paramedic Ambulance from Sanger.
Normally, Paramedics are obligated to respect the patient’s or family’s wishes and transport the patient to their facility of choice. However, there are instances that the Paramedic would recommend a more appropriate facility if you need specialty medical care such as: trauma surgical services, treatment for a serious heart attack or recent stroke or critical burns. If you are seriously hurt or injured and cannot make a transport decision, the Paramedic on scene will decide for you and transport you to the closest, most appropriate facility.