Train firefighters to handle medical services emergencies
The City of Buffalo should consider training selected firefighters as paramedics with the goal of at least one paramedic on board every unit responding to an emergency medical services call.
An appropriate salary differential should induce sufficient personnel to volunteer for the requisite training. Since in many cases the paramedic would have to accompany the commercial ambulance to the hospital, the city would be entitled to a portion of the fee. Eventually this would generate sufficient income to make the paramedic program self-sustaining.
While prompt hospital transportation is essential, pre-hospital advanced life support has the potential to save lives in a significant number of cases. This is especially true in Buffalo, as the fire department frequently arrives before the ambulance on EMS calls.
David R. Markus