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The Department has one crew of three firefighters on-duty at all times. Sometimes, if one of our Reserve or Resident Firefighters is fulfilling shift time requirements, we will have four firefighters on-duty. One thing to keep in mind is that the Fire Department does not currently have the ability to staff stand-by crews. This means that the only guaranteed staff for the entire county is the on-duty crew of three (sometimes four) firefighters.
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No. Like most fire departments across the country, Leadville/Lake County Fire Rescue provides comprehensive emergency response to all incidents not directly related to law enforcement. Because LLCFR has trained staff in the fire station, ready to respond 7/24, it is logically the prime provider of emergency response for the various types emergencies that occur in Leadville and Lake County. Not only does this enable a swift response to emergencies, it maximizes taxpayers dollars by using existing staff to provide a variety of services beyond just fire suppression.
Have you ever visited a hospital emergency room? If you have, you probably saw lots of sophisticated medical equipment, several doctors, nurses and other medical professionals all attending to one patient, all working in concert to ensure that the patient receives the best possible medical care. Now consider an emergency medical call in the field, outside the hospital. Nowhere near the sophisticated medical equipment and nowhere near the number of medical professionals; just the patient, who is often in a dangerous environment, the ambulance crew and the fire department. To ensure the best possible care in the field, the fire department must respond with trained and equipped medical professionals. We, too, work in concert with the ambulance crew to ensure that the patient has the greatest chances of surviving the emergency. Often we provide direct patient care. Other times, we provide drivers for the ambulance as they care for the patient while en route to the hospital; or we rescue the patient so that they can receive medical care, or carry them from their upstairs bedroom to the ambulance. Just as it does in the hospital, good medical care requires a team of professionals. Your fire department is an integral part of the community's emergency medical team.
Yes. But responding effectively to emergencies is all about time. If we responded to medical emergencies in something other than the fire truck, then we would not have all the equipment with us that we might need. Quite often, the information received at the dispatch center paints a poor picture of the emergency we actually find in the field. Many times we arrive at the scene of a medial emergency only to find that we must extricate or rescue the patient. If we don't have equipment with us, critical time will be lost while we return to the station to retrieve it, delaying the care which the patient needs. Another reason that we respond to medical calls in the fire engine is that, should we receive notification of another emergency while we are out of the station, (such as a fire or traffic accident) we would have to return to the station to pick up the fire engine, again, delaying our emergency response.