PAFD Redeploys to Enhance Medical Services to the Community
Palo Alto, CA – The Palo Alto Fire Department (PAFD) has adjusted staffing and ambulance deployment in order to respond more efficiently to medical emergencies. As of Saturday, Jan. 10, every fire apparatus and fire station is staffed with at least one Advanced Life Support Paramedic to compliment the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) crews.
Seven fire apparatus and three ambulances are advantageously positioned to meet the City Council's goal of placing a paramedic on scene in 12 minutes or less, 99 percent of the time. Response data show that more than 60 percent of all incidents are emergency medical calls.
"The Fire Department is on a path to create efficiencies that will sustain the high level of emergency services our community expects," City Manager James Keene said.
The redeployment of existing personnel is in response to community input and expectations shared during the PAFD’s strategic planning process.
“We value the community’s feedback, and we heard loud and clear that effective EMS response is the community’s number one expectation," Fire Chief Eric Nickel said. "The community is our reason for existing, and as needs change, we change.”
In addition to staffing every fire apparatus with a minimum of one paramedic, the Fire Department has strategically located three ambulances—one north, one central and one south—to provide better service to all Palo Alto neighborhoods.
“There will continue to be increasing demand for emergency medical services due to the increasing number of residents age 65 and over as well as Palo Alto’s large daytime population. The goal is to provide faster advanced medical care at no additional cost," Chief Nickel said.