Not all calls require an engine with four firefighter EMTs/paramedics and a full cache of tools. Depending on the severity and type of situation, TVF&R can strategically respond with an engine, truck, medic unit, heavy rescue, water rescue boat, or even a car staffed by one firefighter paramedic. Now, for the first time in TVF&R’s history, we have paramedics assigned to our stations who are not required to also serve as firefighters.
TVF&R has nine frontline medic units. These units are staffed with two paramedics, carry advanced life support equipment, and tools, and — as licensed ambulances — can transport patients when needed or requested by Metro West in Washington County or AMR in Clackamas County.
With the city of Newberg and Newberg Rural Fire Protection District permanently joining TVF&R, we assumed responsibility for the Newberg Ambulance Service Area, which includes all 911 emergency ambulance transports and non-emergent ambulance transports within the ASA.
Medic units respond to critical medical emergencies such as chest pain and breathing problems, assaults, overdose, pregnancy problems, seizures, and strokes. These are based at fire stations throughout the District. Medic units are deployed either 24 hours a day, Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., or Friday through Monday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
TVF&R has six frontline cars. The car — staffed by one paramedic — is a cost-effective option for responding to situations that don’t require a traditional fire engine and four-person crew. The car is outfitted with basic equipment, supplies, and a data terminal with computerized response maps and instantaneous information on every 911 call.
Cars respond to Code 3 medical calls and structure fires in their first-due areas. As a nimbler resource, cars are dispatched in addition to a truck, engine, or medic unit to get to the incident quicker and initiate efforts to stop the progression of an emergency while additional personnel are en route to the scene.
Additionally, cars respond to non life-threatening medical and public service calls such as abdominal pain, ground-level fall, headache, odor investigation, sick person, fire alarms, and smoke alarm problems. They are deployed Tuesday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.