Rochester, New York, USA
GVA provides both basic and advanced life support services. The minimum basic ambulance crew is a driver and a medic. Additional people (two maximum) are allowed for training or assistance.
The Monroe County Emergency Communications Department (911 center) classifies all calls for emergency medical service according to their severity. They then dispatch GVA, advising us whether basic (BLS) or advanced (ALS) service is likely to be needed. For serious calls, such those for trouble breathing, heart attacks, strokes and serious injuries an ALS ambulance or a BLS ambulance with an ALS fly-car respond.
GVA usually staffs a minimum of three ALS ambulances during weekdays and two at other times.
Basic Life Support (BLS):
As required for ambulance certification by the NYS Department of Health, all medics must hold at least a NYS emergency medical technician (EMT) certificate. Since July 1, 2009, GVA has exceeded the state specifications by also requiring all drivers to be EMTs.
The emergency medical technician (EMT) course, which takes approximately 100 hours, provides people with the emergency medical knowledge and skills necessary to care for the sick and injured in a prehospital setting. Topics include:
Advanced Life Support (ALS):
In order to provide ALS service, many GVA personnel have more advanced training.
The intensive eighteen-month EMT-Paramedic program prepares a person who is already an experienced EMT to care for the sick and injured at an advanced level. This course covers topics that include:
The Public Safety Training Facility website has more detailed descriptions of available courses and class schedules. The NYS Department of Health website gives the details of the course curricula. The Monroe Community College paramedic program is described on their website.
In addition to their initial training all personnel participate in continuing education. State certification must be renewed every three years and there are required yearly reviews on a variety of topics, such as