Emergency Medical Services

BSO Fire Rescue Emergency Medical Services (EMS) affords the residents of Broward County paramedic emergency care and treatment and transport to local hospitals. Eleven EMS units operate in Broward County and approximately 70% of BSO's firefighters are certified paramedics.

Each EMS unit is equipped with emergency pharmacological supplies, emergency airway equipment, intravenous fluids, electrocardiograms/defibrillators, pacemakers, suction and splinting equipment, oxygen and other supplies. EMS units respond to approximately 35,000 medical alarm calls each year, most frequently for cardiac arrest, respiratory problems, slip-and-fall accidents and injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes.

The EMS Unit operates under the direction of a full-time medical director who is board-certified and residency-trained in emergency medicine and a chief of Emergency Medical Services.

Paramedics complete a semester of emergency medical training that covers basic medical and traumatic emergencies, followed by approximately three semesters of advanced life support training and education programs for treatment of illness and traumatic injuries. Certified paramedics are trained to insert specialized breathing tubes, administer medications and electrocardiograms and to perform certain basic surgical procedures. Certifications require a candidate's successful completion of Florida's state certification requirements and bi-annual continuing medical education training. Recruits who are already state-certified firefighters / paramedics undergo an additional 450 hours of training.

The Fire Rescue Division has been a leader in providing public access to defibrillation equipment and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training. Thousands of residents are trained through partnerships with local hospitals and other organizations. Free blood pressure screenings at county fire stations and smoke detector installations are also offered by the division.

In 2003, the unit was honored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs with the Heart Safe Community Award, recognizing the division's efforts at promoting community education and training programs.

Description of how medical information about you is used and disclosed by BSO's Department of Fire Rescue and how you may obtain this information (Notice of Privacy Practices).

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