Have you ever wondered how the Hastings Fire and Ambulance service operates?
The Hastings Fire Department is unique to the Metro Area in two ways. First, the department provides both Fire and Advanced Life Support Ambulance Services. Secondly, these services are provided by a combination of full-time career and paid-on-call personnel. Currently there are Fourteen full-time members of the department and 39 paid-on-call members. These 55 members provide fire protection and ambulance service to nearly 155 square miles.
Throughout 2012, the Fire Department responded to an average of 8.6 calls for service per day with 2,563 of those being ambulance runs and 564 for fires. Response to these calls are provided by three ambulances, four Class A fire pumpers, an advanced rescue vehicle, an aerial ladder, two grass rigs, and a tanker. These terms may not mean a whole lot to you, but rest assured that the city has the necessary equipment to handle any emergency you might have.
Fire and Rescue Services: The Fire Department operates at a high skill level in all response areas. All firefighters are trained to the highest recognized national standards and command and control is provided by an officer core consisting of an average of more than 20 years experience. All equipment is operated by skilled, full-time staff and firefighting is done with paid-on-call (part-time) personnel who bring with them a wide degree of applicable civilian experience.
Through advanced training, the department is able to provide specialized rescues, meeting or exceeding standards in all of the following areas: technical rope rescue, confined space entry, hazardous materials operational response, vehicle and machinery disentanglement, and water rescue.
Life Support Services: The ambulance service provides both Advanced Life Support (ALS) and Basic Life Support (BLS). The ambulance service works in close relationship with our local hospital, Regina Medical Center, which provides required physician medical direction, educational opportunities, and needed supplies.
This close relationship and high degree of trust allows the ambulance service to transport the most critical patients from Regina Medical Center to other specialized facilities.
New Recruits New recruits participate in approximately 240 hours of initial training. During this period, classroom setting provides the foundation for emergency responders and skills are honed in an ongoing apprenticeship.
Departmental training consists of approximately 60 hours of annual continuing education. Specialty areas require additional study including, but not limited to, EMT re-certification every two years, hands-on interior structural attack, hazardous materials response, and other requirements as needed.
Fire Prevention Bureau The City’s Fire Prevention Bureau works with the City’s planning department, public works department, building Inspectors, contractors and fire code compliance oversight. Currently, these areas are addressed by the Assistant Fire Chief/Fire Marshal with some help from off-duty full-time and paid-on-call personnel providing fire prevention programs. Approximately 75% or more of the Assistant Fire Chief/Fire Marshal’s time is spent in this area.
Other Support: Administrative support and daytime dispatching is provided by two highly trained, city employees who are responsible for nearly one million dollars in ambulance billing and receivables per year.
Paid-on-call firefighter/EMT’s (part-time) provide great value to the City. The average paid-on-call firefighter/ EMT contributed more than 400 hours last year.
Not only do these team members provide emergency response, they also bring with them great expertise from their civilian occupations and personal experience.