With the rise of for-profit paramedics in cities and counties across the United States, local fire departments are seeing unprecedented competition in the area of EMS (Emergency Medical Service). As with all types of competition, this raises the level of performance across the entire field. If you work in a fire department, this means you need to do everything you can to keep up. Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to be the strongest EMS candidate in your area. Among these steps are earning certifications in ACLS and PALS: two essential live-saving courses. Learn more about these certifications and why your fire department needs them in our guide below, and enroll in our award-winning courses here at SureFire CPR to get certified today!
For-Profit Paramedics: A Growing Trend Nationwide
In Orange County today, the only public providers of EMS (Emergency Medical Service) are the Orange County Fire Authority and various City Fire Departments. The region’s fire departments have been the primary EMS providers for several decades, however, as various cities and counties like have begun to loosen up their restrictions on which institutions are allowed to provide EMS, new providers have begun to compete for dominance in areas all across America. New for-profit paramedic services are encroaching on what was once only for fire department EMS services.
Orange County is not one of the counties that have opened up the floodgates to private paramedics — yet — but there have been calls on City Councils from lobbyists to change the law. Should the law change, an influx of competition will arrive in Orange County. Should this occur, your fire department needs to be prepared.
Optimizing Your EMS Department
For-profit paramedics often make the case that they are just as equipped to administer EMS as firefighters. This claim is based on training, and training is quantified with certifications. On paper, in front of city councils and clients, certifications are one of the most important tools needed for stating your case.
Thankfully, fire departments can obtain the exact same certifications available to for-profit paramedics. As a professional in a fire department, you want to make sure that your organization has all of the same certifications that competing paramedics have. If possible, you want to have more certifications than the competition. Below, we discuss two key certifications — ACLS and PALS — that are essential to have for all EMS professionals in your fire department.
What Certificates and Accreditations Should you Consider Enrolling your Paramedics and EMTs in?
To show the skills and experience of your EMS professionals, you should strongly consider having your fire department’s EMS personnel get certified in both ACLS and PALS. Your EMS personnel are probably already going to know all the ins and outs of the subject matter covered in ACLS and PALS classes from their real-world life-saving experience, so it’s less of a matter of learning all-new skills through ACLS and PALS programs, but rather realigning with the best practices that the American Heart Association is constantly updating through research in the field of heart care. In the end, not only will your paramedics and EMTs have the most up to date training available, but they will be able to work more effectively as a team during cardiac arrest situations.
So, what exactly are ACLS and PALS certifications, and what do they mean? ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support) is a certification provided by the American Heart Association that builds onto the foundational information that BLS (Basic Life Support) courses provide. ACLS training incorporates team dynamics in cardiac arrest situations to help improve the outcome in these life or death emergencies. This information includes proper CPR protocol, choking aid, AED use, and more. During and ACLS class your firefighters will learn how to be both a team leader and a team member in a resuscitation effort. These skills will help your EMTs better assist their paramedics and make the code run more smoothly. The course also covers ECG recognition, ACLS pharmacology, and advanced airway management. PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) provides in-depth training akin to that covered in ACLS, but focuses on providing life support to students to infants and children. PALS also focuses on the most common life-threatening pediatric emergencies, both cardiac and respiratory. Recognition of these pediatric emergencies is key for all EMS providers, and the various treatment methods are covered in these very important classes. Teams that get certified together in ACLS and PALS are able to communicate better and work more effectively in an emergency situation.
If you choose to get your fire department ACLS and PALS certified, it will provide confidence in your team to handle some of the most difficult situations that EMS providers face. Having these certifications will also display your department’s commitment to excellence in EMS. It is a small price to pay to ensure your firefighters will be the best at what they do.
Get Your Fire Department ACLS- and PALS-Certified With Our Team at SureFire CPR
Searching for a fast, effective, and affordable way to earn your ACLS and PALS certifications? If you live in Southern California, there is no better choice than our team here at SureFire CPR. Fully endorsed by the American Heart Association and Led by highly-experienced instructors with backgrounds in firefighting, education, and medical care, we’ve earned our place as Southern California’s premier provider of emergency response certifications. We are trusted by hospitals, schools, and organizations to provide large scale training for thousands of providers each year. For maximum convenience, we offer onsite training options where we bring our certification courses to you. Check out our Testimonials page to see what other individuals and professional organizations have said about our certification courses, and enroll your fire department with us today!