Paramedic-Firefighter Roles During Medical Emergencies

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#1: Paramedic - Captain

Consoles loved ones, gathers facts from witnesses, obtains patient’s medical history from family members, finds patient’s prescription medications, explains what is going on to family members, overall scene management and crowd control if necessary.

#2: Paramedic - Firefighter

Attaches patient to cardiac defibrillator, monitors and interprets EKG reading, administers an electrical shock to the heart when indicated, obtains patient’s vital signs, drives the ambulance to the hospital while other crew members care for the patient.

#3: Paramedic - Firefighter

In charge of patient care, delegates assignments to crew members, contacts base hospital and obtains medical treatment advice from the hospital physician, documents patient care by completing the patient care report form, which is a vital aspect of transferring care to the emergency room staff.

#4: Paramedic - Firefighter

Maintains an open airway, provides oxygen and breathes for the patient using a bag valve mask which is crucial for vital organ survivability, establishes an advanced airway by inserting a breathing tube through the patient’s throat and into their lungs.

#5: Paramedic - Firefighter

Provides continuous chest compressions (CPR) to the patient at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute and at a depth of 2-4 inches.  Compressions must be uninterrupted to ensure that the brain and body tissues receive enough blood and oxygen to survive.

#6: Paramedic - Firefighter

Establishes and maintains intravenous (IV) access through a bone in the patient’s leg.  Checks blood sugar levels which is critical in diabetic patients.  Administers lifesaving medications that can potentially restart the patient’s heart.