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Invitation to Long Beach Fire Department Ambulance Operator Graduation

By frhayes | March 31, 2009

 

On Friday, April 3, 2009 the Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) will be graduating 13 Ambulance Operators (AO’s) who have just completed a 2-week academy. The ceremony will be held at the LBFD Training Center located at 2249 Argonne Ave. and will begin at 11:30 A.M. These individuals will soon be assigned to Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulances and will begin serving the citizens of Long Beach.

Fire Chief David Ellis and others worked for many years to help develop and implement this Ambulance Operator program. Service to the community is improved directly as a result of this program. Specifically LBFD units are able to respond quicker as a cohesive unit, and based on the patients needs, units can become available sooner, for future incident demands.

This program is also very cost efficient for the community, it matches the patient’s condition with the appropriate resource, either Advanced Life Support (ALS) or BLS interventions and transportation. In addition to being cost efficient for the community, the program generates a significant cost recovery for LBFD resources and personnel to the city through collection of transportation fees. “Peak Load Staffing” (increasing staffing during the busiest hours of the day) with additional BLS units for 12 hour shifts also increases efficiency and availability of resources able to respond quickly to other emergencies, in fact BLS 3 is the busiest unit in the LBFD.

The AO’s live and work in the LBFD stations right along side of the other department members. This situation allows for the evaluation of perspective candidates for future Firefighter position in the LBFD in a “Real World” environment, to ensure that qualified personnel are hired. The 12 and 24 hour shifts allow for continued education opportunities for those seeking training and advanced degrees for careers in the Fire, Law, and Medical fields, making it a great entry level position.

This close working arrangement also encourages an understanding that they are a part of the LBFD family. Which fosters a desire to help with charity events, and organizations such as the Red Cross CPR Saturday event, and the LBFD Kids hospital visitations. These individuals are also a great benefit in regard to assisting during the fire academies and future AO academies.

This program is a great example of demonstrating how a great idea, persistence in developing and implementing a program can be such a huge benefit. There are increased services to the community, with increased efficiency while saving money for the citizens of Long Beach. Significant cost recovery is also realized to the city for resources and personnel from the LBFD. Individuals can be evaluated to ensure that qualified candidates are hired for drill school, and we are training the Firefighters of the future.

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