Have you ever wondered why at times fire engines respond to medical emergency calls? In a medical emergency, the Villages Public Safety Department knows that every second counts! The VPSD’s truly exceptional response times of 5.5 minutes for emergency services and nearly 7.5 minutes for EMS transport (i.e., ambulance arrival) helps to save lives. This is especially true in cases of traumatic injuries, heart attacks and other acute medical issues. Fire stations are strategically located throughout The Villages to ensure a rapid response to emergencies. At times, fire engines may be the first to arrive due to their closer proximity and their availability to respond. In some instances, both ambulances and fire engines arrive simultaneously, again depending on location and availability.

In an effort to achieve and continue to shorten response times, the VPSD uses all available resources. Both fire engines and ambulances are staffed with personnel who are trained and certified as Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians. Fire engines and ambulances can provide immediate, advanced, life-saving emergency medical assistance, such as after a critical motor vehicle accident, a traumatic brain injury or a heart attack. They both administer CPR, control bleeding and can stabilize a patient in preparation for transport to a hospital as quickly as possible. In addition to having properly trained and certified crews, the VPSD makes certain that both ambulances and fire trucks carry essential medical equipment, such as defibrillators, oxygen tanks, bandages and medications. Ambulances are equipped with a broader range of medical equipment designed for advanced care and patient transport.

The VPSD’s dedication to rapid and efficient emergency response forms the basis for dispatching fire engines and/or ambulances to medical calls. In so doing, the VPSD demonstrates their unwavering commitment to saving lives and serving our community and ensures that they deliver the highest quality of care when we need it most.

While the VPSD fully recognizes that ambulances may be faster, more economical and more nimble, in medical emergencies, time is of the essence. Under appropriate circumstances, a fire engine may the best choice to provide the fastest response time.

The VHA Editorial Board

Rich Cole
Roger Kass