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Future of Fire/EMS Service in the United States Essay

In addition to being managed at the most central level by the federal government, United States’ Emergency Medical Service (EMS) usually offer heightened medical care to out-patients as well as providing transport to perfect care to the needy. The federal government is mandated with the task of setting the lowest standards that must be adhered to by the emergency service providers of all states. Additionally, these state governments are responsible for ensuring that they strictly regulate the standards of emergency medical services that they administer.

The emergency medical service differs from one state to the other because of the broad differences of states. Current State of Fire/EMS Service: The Fire-based EMS systems in the United States are well positioned to offer pre-hospital EMS service that includes timely decisive response as well as efficient patient care. In addition to offering affordable operations, the Fire/EMS service systems basically lay emphasis on the safety of the responder and experienced and compassionate workers.

The United States fire service department is responsible for provision of critical public safety functions which foster prosperity, community health and security. In most cases, the public safety functions provided by the fire service department is usually known as the pre-hospital 9-1-1 emergency response (“Statement of Principles” par, 1). For policy makers, understanding the importance of need of emergency medical service is very essential. Currently, the pre-hospital 9-1-1 emergency medical response (or the Fire/EMS service) is provided by the country’s paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMT’s).

This is due to the knowledge, preparation and the equipments that these paramedics and EMTs use in responding to fire emergency. Additionally, paramedics and emergency service technicians are involved in providing emergency medical response because of their ability to concurrently protect a scene, lessen the hazard, treat and transport injured patients to a proper medical facility. Consequently, an important aspect of these services is time efficiency making the fire emergency service to be the system with capable and speedy multi-faceted response.

One of the key emergency response systems that should be considered by the local, state and federal governments in their plans for emergency response to hazards is the fire emergency service system. It’s important for policy makers to identify that the perfect model of pre-hospital 9-1-1 emergency response organization is the U. S fire service department. As a result of a report released by the National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control in early 1970’s, the congress established an entity within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) known as the United States Fire Administration (USFA).

The report highlighted United States’ fire problem and the need for effective fire response services. One of the major missions of the USFA was to help in the reduction of catastrophic losses while fostering the proficient development of the fire emergency response system. In addition to this, the USFA is responsible for provision of national leadership that promotes a concrete foundation for prevention, vigilance and response of the stakeholders in the fire service department (“Fiscal Year 2009 Report”, 2).

Furthermore, this entity is mandated with the task of working towards for a fire safe America given that the country’s fire death rate one of the highest compared to other developed countries. Though there have been some improvements in America’s fire losses in the last twenty years, it is estimated that fire outbreaks result in about 3,700 deaths while leaving over 20,000 people injured annually. Additionally, fire leads to direct property losses that amount to an approximate of $11 billion each year with close to 100 firefighters losing their lives while in rescue missions.

One of the greatest achievements of the United States Fire Administration agency is that it has been able to lessen America’s fire deaths by more than half as compared to the early 1970’s. This has just highlighted the fact that fire deaths and property losses are preventable to a greater extent through ongoing collection of data, research, training and public education. The United States fire departments act in response to an average of four thousand five hundred fire calls a day.

In addition to the dramatic changes in the fire service in the last twenty years, various fire departments have initiated integrating services in order to provide better services to the public. The integration of emergency medical services in the fire service departments is primarily because of the need to well-organized with public funds while sustaining the high level of efficiency. For many of the leaders in these departments, being productive while providing the needed services is one of the main goals (West par, 1).

The need to be effective and productive has resulted in many fire service departments to incorporate a medical first responder program. This program has enabled the fire departments to achieve half of their mission since saving lives and protecting property is a fundamental objective of the fire departments. Moreover, some fire service departments have expanded into specialized services such as vehicle rescue, technical extrication, perilous materials response and swift water rescue among other services.

The medical first responder program is not only the most needed service in every community but it is also the cheapest EMS program to implement. However, some fire departments have been very reluctant and slow in making the transition to incorporate the medical first responder program in their services. This is partly because of their size and type that makes it harder for them to offer some new level of service.

The other reasons for the slow speed in implementation of the program is the challenges that these departments encounter in providing and sustaining the existing levels of service as well as the contentment of firefighters in providing current services and response to fire-related calls only. Future of Fire/EMS Service: Given that the world is experiencing technological changes time after time, the Fire/EMS service has also continued to experience major changes since the National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control released a report in early 1970’s.

These changes have significantly brought changes in the fire service departments while helping America to tackle fire-related emergencies. The future of Fire/EMS service in the United States is also expected to experience significant changes in the next twenty years. The most immediate changes in the career of Fire/EMS service will be as a result of the five year strategic plan developed by the United States Fire Administration agency.

The focal point and emphasis of this strategic plan is on several performance goals such as lessening the fire-related risks at the local level, developing the planning and preparedness at local level, developing the capabilities of fire and emergency service and improving the professional status of emergency services. These performance goals are expected to have significant changes in the career and field of Fire/EMS service. As compared to today, the fire service department in the United States will also change significantly because of the continual review and revision of USFA strategic plans.

For individuals who aspire or are currently working in this field, there is a great for them to keep up with the changes that are being implemented by the USFA. As part of its strategic plan, the United States Fire Administration agency has developed new measures that will result in improvement of training and research methods, awareness initiatives, collection of data and technological development among others. Consequently, these professionals in this field need to be prepared in order to meet the ever-improving requirements and expectations.

The future of the Fire/EMS service in the United States will most likely include the following changes: Academic Requirements: This is one of the major areas that will continue changing in this field and will have a major impact in the service delivery by professionals. In the next 10-20 years, professional in the fire service department will have to meet tougher academic requirements prior to working in this filed. This is because of the plan by USFA to ensure that the National Fire Academy revises, develops and increases its curricula in the coming years in order to meet the new requirements of the Department of Homeland Security.

The National Fire Academy (NFA) whose mission is foster professional development of fire-related emergency services will be required to modify its courses within each curriculum year (“Strategic Plan Fiscal Years 2010-2014”, 7). As NFA modifies its courses within each curriculum year, there will also be a proportional change in academic requirements of professionals in this field. In the coming years, the new curricula will not only incorporate a state-of-the-art and ideal training models but will also have a training model that is appropriate for distribution and use at both the local and state fire training organizations.

Additionally, it is expected that the Fire/EMS service will increase and sustain the provision of technological-based preparation programs in the coming years. For instance, web-based curriculum and replication exercise systems with multi-media, computer-based and interactive settings will be part of the training programs. However, alternative traditional means and service delivery methods will be part of the training courses, conferences, seminars, administrative forums and workshops.

Furthermore, institutions of higher learning are also expected to continue having the emergency medical service agencies that are entirely staffed by student volunteers. Fire Service Programs: The other significant area that will determine and change the future of Fire/EMS service is the delivery of not only fire-related programs but the provision of other emergency response services. With the integration of emergency medical service and fire service, professional will be expected to continue offering response to fire-related calls as well as response to other emergency calls.

Even though some workers are presently reluctant in responding to other emergency service calls, this is more likely to change in the coming years as all the fire service agencies will be required to offer higher levels of service than the existing ones. The other prediction of the future of Fire/EMS service field is the expectation that fire prevention and protection recognition technology will be included in the trainings of city planners, architects, builders and professionals in the building construction industry.

This is due to the fact that the United States Fire Administration agency will encourage these trainings and practices are included in the mentioned fields. By the achievement of this in the next few years, fire prevention services will not only be offered by professionals in this field but architects, constructors and city planners will also provide the services. This will revolutionize fire service programs given that the field will have an increased number of participating personnel. Additionally, prevention and protection mechanisms will use new methods of data and information analysis and improved response to all hazards.

Conclusion: As the world continues to experience the ongoing technological developments, the future of Fire/EMS service is also expected to change significantly. This is because of the ongoing inclusion of technological-based methods in fire prevention and protection services. The development will help in the further reduction of America’s fire deaths and property loss as compared to the current rate. Professionals in this field need to be properly equipped with the current as well as future mechanisms of service delivery in order to achieve this objective.

Finally, they also need to be prepared to offer response to other emergency service calls. Works Cited: “Statement of Principles. ” Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates. FireCompanies. com & Fire Service Based EMS Advocates. Web. 22 Aug. 2010. <http://www. fireserviceems. com/>. United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency. U. S Department of Homeland Security. America’s Fire and Emergency Services Leader Strategic Plan Fiscal Years 2010 – 2014. United States Fire Administration. Web. 22 Aug. 2010. <http://www. usfa. dhs. gov/downloads/pdf/strategic_plan. pdf>. United States.

Federal Emergency Management Agency. U. S Department of Homeland Security. Fiscal Year 2009 Report to Congress. United States Fire Administration, Mar. 2010. Web. 22 Aug. 2010. <http://www. usfa. dhs. gov/downloads/pdf/annual_reports/fy09_usfa_annual_report. pdf>. West, Gary L. “Integrating Emergency Medical Services in the Fire Department Fire/EMS First Responders: It’s Just a Matter of Time. ” The University of Tennessee. The University of Tennessee, 5 Jan. 2007. Web. 22 Aug. 2010. <http://www. mtas. tennessee. edu/KnowledgeBase. nsf/0/D4A915E78671205D852572CE006C007E? OpenDocument>.


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