Menlo Fire celebrates 25 years of paramedic first response
Twenty five years ago, the Menlo Park Fire Protection District became the first Fire Agency in San Mateo County to provide Advanced Life Support (ALS) Fire Paramedic’s on all of its seven front line fire engines. That collective push took an additional 12e years of effort beforehand.
The Fire District provides essential emergency services and fire response to the Town of Atherton, cities of East Palo Alto, Menlo Park and unincorporated areas of San Mateo County and also on contract with the SLAC National Accelerator and Laboratories.
In 2019, the Fire District responded to over 9,000 emergencies of which 65% are Emergency Medical Incidents. Today, a least one Fire Paramedic can be found on each of the Fire District’s 10 first response units and over half of its 100 firefighters are Fire Paramedics, the largest number in the County.
When a medical emergency is dispatched, the goal is for the Fire first response unit to be on-scene in four to six minutes, before the transport ambulance, which can take from nine to 15 minutes, arrives. Those critical moments, allow the Fire Paramedic to establish a treatment path and, most of the time, stabilize the patient’s condition.
EMS Manager Melanie Starz put together a 10-minute video about Menlo Fire’s paramedic first response efforts; it’s available online.
Pictured is one of the first Menlo Park Fire Paramedic Classes – 1994 – Credit: Menlo Fire