All County Fire Stations to Provide Advanced Life Support Care

All County Fire Stations to Provide Advanced Life Support Care title=
Photo: Santa Barbara County Fire Department (SBCFD)
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Source: Santa Barbara County Fire Department

The Santa Barbra County Fire Department is proud to announce that the departmentwide station conversion to ALS will be complete on July 1, 2022, at 0800. Every engine company in our department will provide continuous Advanced Life Support (ALS)-level prehospital medical care.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department has been providing ALS service to the community for 49 years. In 1973, we were one of the first fire departments in the State of California to train Firefighter/Paramedics. Seven Firefighters went through the initial paramedic program at Goleta Valley Hospital. In 1974, we placed our first paramedic unit, Rescue 11, into service. Since then, we have methodically expanded our services departmentwide.

Today we have over eighty practicing paramedics throughout the ranks of Firefighter, Engineer, and Captain. This is a monumental occasion to have 16 ALS fire stations, three ALS fire department ambulances, and a seasonal ALS helicopter crewmember serving the citizens of the County of Santa Barbara. 

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millimesa Jun 24, 2022 03:22 PM
All County Fire Stations to Provide Advanced Life Support Care

SBC Fire is taking it one stair at a time in order to compete for the new EMS Ambulance contract that is currently run by AMR. By having a paramedic on every fire truck, the fire stations are already adequately positioned to provide ALS way before AMR can arrive currently. SBC Fire is probably going to win the contract in my opinion.

Localtransplant Jun 24, 2022 04:21 PM
All County Fire Stations to Provide Advanced Life Support Care

They said there are 16 fire stations. Fire stations don’t move. Ambulances can be deployed dynamically. What happens when there is a fire and they are busy providing mutual aid to another county? In terms of contract, how can a firefighter with overtime and pension be cheaper than a private ambulance provider? If you make the argument for subcontracting, that means there is money going to waste. I haven’t seen the data for the past few years, but SB County has historically had some of the best prehospital outcomes in the country, why on earth would we want to throw a wrench in something that works?

a-1656123986 Jun 24, 2022 07:26 PM
All County Fire Stations to Provide Advanced Life Support Care

I'm disgusted that this, which appears to be a public service announcement, does not address the movement to change over from EMS/ambulance services to fire dept's providing that service.

It's a big issue and I am NOT deciding it for myself or taking a stance.
Information is needed.
Thus this is very sad to read this without knowing the background and aim, which so few community members are aware of.

montecito_matt Jun 27, 2022 07:50 AM
All County Fire Stations to Provide Advanced Life Support Care

Great points Xplant and RHS. I think we are going to see more "odd releases" like this from County Fire, trying to strengthen their stake in the bid for EMS. Anybody else surprised that we haven't already been receiving a higher level of service from this well-funded county agency? Let's not try to push big metropolitan city EMS tactics on our community, patient care goes way down and so do outcomes for survival (think of your family/friends here in a time of need). Having roving ambulances or staging locations puts patient care first and dramatically reduces response times than coming from a fire station. This is proactive vs. reactive in regards to emergency response. Plus, would you rather have somebody that signed up to fight fires working on granny during her time of need or somebody that signed up to solely focus on emergency medicine. The answer is clear to me, food for thought for most and MHO.

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