Why do ECCFPD fire trucks respond to medical emergencies?


When someone calls 911 for a medical emergency, speed matters, and the nearest source of qualified help is often a fire engine. However, fire engines are not sent to every medical emergency call. The Contra Costa County EMS determines when to send fire and ambulance resources for medical calls, in conformance with national standards. When the County's 911 Center receives medical calls, trained and certified dispatchers gather information on symptoms to determine how severe they are by asking a series of questions and determines how to respond. Based on severity of reported symptoms, both fire and ambulance (~75% of calls) or an ambulance alone (~25% of calls) is sent to the scene.