In the Jefferson and Shelby County area, the Hoover Fire Department was one of the first Fire Departments in 1973 to begin providing EMS. Today, EMS has grown to be a much more in depth specialty within the fire department. All of our initial response vehicles are staffed with Paramedics and have full Advanced Life Support Equipment. This includes all fire engines and ladder trucks. Three Advanced Life Support Rescue Units provide not only advanced medical care, but are transport capable to provide immediate transport to hospitals without delay. Two back up Rescue Units are on stand-by to be manned when needed or provide reserve support. A private ambulance service, Regional Paramedical Services, is also part of our team to provide transport services. We also have agreements with surrounding fire departments to provide back up if needed. Emergency medical service ( EMS) account for the majority of calls for service by the Hoover Fire Department. In 2010, the department responded to 6,146 emergency medical and trauma calls which represent 65 % of our total call volume.
All Paramedics and EMTs in the Hoover Fire Department are trained to the highest level and train continuously to keep their skills sharp and ready to be used at any instance. Heart Attack, Stroke and Trauma care is coordinated through regional systems to ensure that patients receive the fastest care on scene and enroute to the appropriate facility to handle the situation. Hoover Fire Department EMS personnel have received many compliments and awards for their life saving actions.
The Hoover Fire Department along with some other area departments have joined the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Alabama Resuscitation Center to perform field studies on cardiac and trauma patients in the field. This is a unique study to determine how field care directly affects the patients’ outcome after arrival at the hospital. Eleven other sites in the United States and Canada are part of this study and results of studies have been published and treatment protocols (including the new CPR standards) have been changed showing life saving improvements in care. The UAB Department of Emergency Medicine also provides Physician Medical Direction as required by state law. This provides us with unlimited training opportunities.
The Birmingham Regional Emergency Medical Services System coordinates EMS agencies and hospitals within a seven county region as dictated by the Alabama Department of Public Health Office of EMS and Trauma. Regular meetings are held to maintain contact with all surrounding agencies and the Hoover Fire Department provides representation on many committees of these agencies.