Dec. 1, 2006, is the day that the FDNY EMS Command officially implemented its Rescue Trained Paramedic program by placing five ALS Rescue Medic units into service, one in each of the city's five boroughs.
Paramedics assigned to these units are very highly trained ALS members of the FDNY. In addition to their certification as NYS Paramedics and HazMat Technicians, the 53 paramedics and 11 officers completed a comprehensive physical examination and medical evaluation, and then completed intensive training at the FDNY Technical Rescue School. Their training included:
- 40 hours of collapse training
- 40 hours of confined space training
- 40 hours of trench rescue and high-angle training
Additionally, they received 24 hours of training in crush medicine theory and practical application of ALS treatment modalities, including the use of specialized rescue treatment protocols.
Because of the many unique situations that could arise where their medical expertise and specialized training are necessary, these units are currently being provided with larger ambulance vehicles that have been designed to accommodate all of the special equipment necessary to operate safely and effectively in these environments.
John J. Peruggia Jr., AS, EMT-P, is a 24-year veteran of the NYC-EMS system. He currently serves as the chief of the FDNY EMS Command and has overall responsibility for managing the busiest "9-1-1" EMS system in the U.S. Chief Peruggia also serves on the editorial boards of bothJEMS and theEMS Insider.