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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Downtown Bham Blfd Magazine Touts Township Fire Dept. Trashes City Public Safety Dept. City Mayor and Chief Take issue. We adjudicate.

(City of) Bloomfield Hills Public Safety emergency training is at the lowest possible level to maintain public safety(combined  police and fire) organization accreditation as medical first responders. Neighboring Bloomfield Township Fire Department has 63 firefighters  who are all trained as paramedics  the highest level.
  -Downtown Birmingham Bloomfield Magazine (Current issue).

Actually  it is  a little more complicated than the editorial suggests.

 Bloomfield Hills Township  is a community with  a Police Department of  70 sworn officers  and Fire departments with 60 uniformed  career firefighters and officers. They are how ever separate units. The 63 paramedics mentioned are probably attached to the Fire Department  and as paramedics are the highest trained in terms of study or training hours in the emergency medical service hierarchy.  Township Police and Fire serve a community in excess of  40,000 residents.

The City of Bloomfield Hills has according to it's web site has a Public Safety Department which is  a  "combined police and fire department serving the residents of Bloomfield Hills Michigan. (The Department) has one station which is located at City Hall. The Department  boasts 26 state certified sworn police officers who are also state certified firefighters and state certified medical first responders along with four civilian personnel assigned to the Communications/Records section.  The Public Safety Department serves a City of less than 4,000 residents.

When you call 9-11  the Township they will dispatch either Police or Fire.  In the City the  all responding officers are police, fire,and  state certified medical first responders.

For medical transportation and advanced  emergency medical services en route  the City contracts with Star Ambulance  Their units are staffed by  a Paramedics and  EMT personell. An EMT officer is the next step up from first responder. Starr offers both Basic Life Support, and Advanced Life Support unit Ambulances

If the term "first responder" sounds familiar  it may be a result of the bombing at the Boston Marathon. First responders were integral part of the EMS efforts there and today according to the Boston Globe many first responders are being recognized for their contribution in a special  ceremony at Boston Harbor.

While  First responders lack the training of Paramedics, who lack the training of ER doctors, who lack the training of specialist physicians,   First responders   have become  an essential  part of Emergency Medical Services whose job is to get  the injured or the ill  to the Hospital. The vital role of  first responders  is that they are the first on the scene and they are mobile.  

In the  City of Bloomfield Hills  first responders who are also Police Officers and for that matter firefighters, cruise in cars. 

Not a duty you would associate with your average  fire department. In fact the civillian response to the vehicles of  the two public safety branches is  exactly the opposite. 

People get out of the way of Fire Engines  but if they need help and see a police car they flag it down.

For these reasons and new ones like large scale medical emergencies caused by terrorism or natural  disasters (Sandy Hook Hurricane or Oklahoma Tornadoes) the state of Michigan  is emphasizing  both  citizen disaster preparedness and First Responder training. 

You can see this by playing around with variants  of " First responders  in Michigan" in your favorite search engine.

Oakland Community College in training utilized by area Police and Public safety departments, teaches would be First Responders basic airway management, CPR  and AED, Oxygen therapy, patient immobilization, patient triaging for multiple trauma victims, and assisting EMT's and Paramedics during advanced care.

Chief  Hendrickson told the City Commission that the City's first responders means  trained personnel are on the scene in  two and a half minutes as opposed a generalized  average of five minutes. 

That readiness, combined with the City's small size and access to major roads means in five minutes  instead of help just arriving, the patient could be en route to a hospital.

In emergency health care the best system is the one that works the best. That certainly would seem to require. mobility and quickness as well as ability to think outside the box.

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