Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
The EMS Division of the Fire Department provides 24-hour-a-day Advanced Life Support (ALS) care and transportation to the hospital to the citizens, staff and visitors of Alexandria. We take pride in providing state-of-the-art medical care to our patients.
Service is provided utilizing five ALS-staffed ambulances strategically placed at five of the eight fire stations in the City. In addition, two peak time medic units are in-service daily between 7:00am and 7:00 pm during the peak period of EMS activity. Sixty-two full-time ALS providers staff these units, working 24-hour shifts. The EMS division is supervised directly by one of the Department’s three Assistant Fire/EMS Chiefs, an EMS Operations Manager and finally two EMS Supervisors assigned to each of the four shifts. Two EMS supervisors are also assigned to the Profesional Development Center and Fire Headquarters to support the various educational and resource needs of Alexandria's EMS System.
EMS Supervisor / Administration
EMS Training Officer
Professional Development Center
The Department answers more than 18,000 calls for service annually, ultimately transporting just over 8000 patients to local hospitals each year. A portion of the incidents are judged to be potentially life-threatening emergencies at the time of call to 911, and thus, a fire engine is dispatched from the closest fire station to provide Basic Life Support until the Advanced Life Support ambulance arrives.
All City firefighters are trained to at least the basic Emergency Medical Technician level of training.
Every fire engine and ladder truck in the City also carries an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to treat victims of sudden cardiac arrest, in addition to their other basic medical equipment. Fire apparatus is also routinely dispatched to all motor vehicle accidents to assist in extricating victims from the vehicle.
The majority of patients are transported to the Alexandria Hospital, with the exception of patients requiring upgrade of services due to traumatic injuries. Those patients are transported to a regional trauma center from the scene.
Fees for Services
When a patient is transported to a hospital/medical facility, the fee will be one of the following:
- Basic Life Support (BLS) the charge is $400 - Basic Life Support (BLS) is the transportation by ground ambulance vehicle and the provision of medical supplies and services without Advanced Life Support intervention.
- Advanced Life Support, Level 1 (ALS-1) the charge is $500 - ALS-1 service is the transportation by ground ambulance vehicle and the provision of medically necessary supplies and services including the provision of an ALS assessment and at least one ALS intervention.
- Advanced Life Support, Level 2 (ALS-2) the charge is $675 - ALS-2 service is the transportation by ground ambulance vehicle and the provision of medically necessary supplies and services including: (1) at least three separate administrations of one or more medications by intravenous push/bolus or by continuous infusion; or (2) ground ambulance transport and the provision of at least one very advanced life support procedure.
for all transports, a charge of $10.00 per mile is charged based on the number of miles a patient is transported to a medical facility.
Training and Certification
All Fire Department ALS providers are required to maintain certifications that maintain their ability to perform state-of-the-art out-of-hospital care. Each ALS provider is certified to the Virginia Emergency Medical Technician-Intermediate level at a minimum and the majority is certified as a Nationally Registered Paramedic (NREMT-P). In addition, all ALS Providers are certified in American Heart Association Basic (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), International Trauma Life Support (ITLS), and Pediatric International Trauma Life Support (PITLS). Continuing medical education is provided for all EMS providers through the Fire Department Professional Development Center.
Six Fire Department ALS Providers have been specially trained to assist the Alexandria Police Department Special Operations Team (SOT). These six ALS Providers volunteered for the assignment and have received special training via the CONTOMS federal training and Tactical EMS Certification (TEMS). In addition to this training all members receive the standard 40 hour basic class administered by the Alexandria Police. The SOT medics respond along with the Alexandria Police SOT to high risk and hostage situations. Their job is to provide medical support to the team throughout the operation.
For additional information about The Alexandria Fire Department's Special Operations Team (SOT), e-mail EMS Supervisor Ray Whatley.
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