Michael Baker, B.U.S., NRP, chief of EMS for the Tulsa Fire Department, presented on the topic of how the non-transport fire service provider can enter the rapidly expanding role of community healthcare.
As the expansion of mobile integrated healthcare (MIH) systems develop across the nation, fire departments that do not provide ambulance transport may appear to be unsuited for community paramedicine or other healthcare related programs. Michael stressed that fire service organizations are essential partners in these programs and may often be able to easily deploy these programs within their response area.
Michael stressed the fact that the fire service has been successful in the reduction of life and property loss from fire due to their efforts in advocacy, systems design, and public education. Rethinking these successful concepts may be the key to reducing the impact of chronic health conditions on the community’s population.
Other key areas Michael presented on were:
- The need to find a partner in the local healthcare community.
- How standard of care and state EMS regulation can limit the service provided by fire EMS personnel.
- Data and operational information are critical to gaining partnerships and presenting the case for local support.
- Gaining top leadership and member buy-in is important for success.
Simple and effective programs make a big impact with minimal resources.