Fire companies now responding to nearly half of all priority medical runs, are first on scene 60 percent of the time
Avg. response times for priority medical runs improved by 2 minutes since program started
Firefighters at 33 active fire houses across the city are now taking emergency medical runs, following a two year process to cross train all Detroit firefighters as medical first responders (MFR). Today, Mayor Mike Duggan and Fire Commissioner Eric Jones announced that all 871 Detroit Fire personnel have been trained, with 624 having completed their certifications, which allows them to take medical runs.
Before the city launched the training in April 2015, Detroit was one of the only major fire departments in the country that did not have firefighters cross trained in medical work. Since the first MFR-trained fire company (Engine 39) started taking medical runs in April 2015:
The city’s average response time for life threatening medical runs has gone down from 10:41 to 8:30 seconds, which is very close to the national average. When the Mayor took office in January 2014, the average response time was nearly 20 minutes.
Firefighters have responded to more than 30,000 medical runs, which is nearly half of the Code 10 (life threatening) calls dispatched since April 2015.
Firefighters have been the first to arrive on scene more than 60% of the time, frequently providing aid to stabilize patients and keep them alive until EMTs or paramedics arrive.
“This is a huge step forward for Detroit and our ability to protect our resident,” said Mayor Duggan. “I can’t say enough about the level of commitment we have seen from our firefighters and the work done by Commissioner Jones and his team to get this done.”
Today, every fire house in the city that operates with an engine or a rescue squad is taking emergency medical runs, including 27 engine companies and 6 rescue squad companies. As more personnel become certified, fire stations that house multiple companies will have added capacity to respond to even more medical runs, said Commissioner Jones.
“We are continuing the process of increasing the medical coverage for the citizens of Detroit. Our firefighters are exceptional and they are proud that they have added the ability to provide medical care to their skill-set to better serve the public,” said Commissioner Jones.
“Time was right” to cross-train
Mayor Duggan said the timing was right to implement MFR training in Detroit. Historically, firefighters have had to respond to large numbers of structure fires, due to the tens of thousands of vacant buildings across the city. However, with nearly 11,000 vacant buildings having been demolished over the past three years through the Mayor’s demolition program and 3,000 more vacant houses being rehabbed and reoccupied, the number of structure fires annually in the city has gone down by nearly one-third, from 4,427 in 2014 to 3,377 in 2016.
In all, the city has 843 personnel that are trained and licensed to respond to medical runs. The Detroit Fire Department has also implemented the following measures:
Brought on a medical director that reviews every MFR run
Had the training academy certified to provide MFR training for new hires
Changed the DFFA collective bargaining agreement to allow medics to ride fire apparatus
The added capacity to the city’s emergency medical response has helped the Fire Department drive down its response to priority (life threatening) medical runs to approximately 8-1/2 minutes. The national average is 8 minutes.
In July 2015, Mayor Duggan, Commissioner Jones and the Detroit Firefighters Association announced an agreement to modify the DFFA contract to provide 4% raises to all firefighters who receive their MFR certification.
“The Detroit Firefighters and EMS medics are saving more lives today than at any other time in our city’s existence,” said Mike Nevin, President of the Detroit Fire Fighters Association – Local 344. “Make no mistake it’s the efforts of the men and women rolling out of these firehouses that are making that happen.”
Here is look at the results of the MFR program so far:
Total Runs 1st on Scene % 1st on Scene Avg. Response Time
30,740 19,924 61.6% 8:21