Thursday, June 25, 2015

Requests for Service Report - May 2015

TFD Incidents by Initial Dispatch Type
TFD - Incidents
2015 (YTD)
2014 (YTD)
Emergency Medical
All Other
(e.g. hazardous conditions, search and rescue, automatic fire alarms)
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TFD Ladder with mission statement
Protecting People, Property & the Environment

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tacoma Fire Department earns national EMS award

In May, Tacoma Fire Department received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Silver Award for implementing operational and quality improvement procedures that expedite treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.

Every year, more than 250,000 people nationwide experience a STEMI, or ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction, a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.

Fortunately for the more than 218,000 citizens served by Tacoma Fire—including those living in Tacoma, Fircrest, Fife and Fire District 10—the firefighter-paramedics and firefighter-EMTs work closely with Tacoma General Hospital and St. Joseph Medical Center as part of a comprehensive emergency cardiac care system. “This system benefits our citizens who have a STEMI-type of heart attack each year, as well as those who experience other serious cardiac conditions,” said TFD’s Medical Service Officer Mike Newhouse.

TFD was recognized for its early and accurate interpretation of 12-lead ECGs, which can determine if a heart attack is occurring, and for following protocols derived from national guidelines. The correct tools and training allow firefighter-paramedics to rapidly identify a STEMI patient and alert the hospitals that an incoming patient will need immediate treatment in a cardiac lab. This gives the hospitals time to assemble a specialized cardiac team to treat the patient.

“While Tacoma Fire is working hard with its partners to decrease the time to care for STEMI heart attack patients, many still wait too long before calling 9-1-1 with heart attack symptoms. For example, they may have unexplained chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, or dizziness or sweating” Newhouse said.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Live-Fire Training in Fife

On June 22 TFD conducted a structure fire training burn at 3914 Pacific Hwy East, Fife.

Live-fire training in a controlled environment is a valuable tool in developing firefighter skills. Training burns also help TFD comply with the states requirements for live-fire training. Firefighters practiced interior fire attack, hose handling, observing fire behavior, and recovering trapped firefighters.

TFD’s training center staff coordinated the regulatory aspects of the burn.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Extreme Heat Safety Strategies

With the temperatures soaring, City of Tacoma Emergency Management recommends the following actions to minimize the risks of hot weather this summer.

Adjust your attire and activities to limit heat exposure and exertion!

If you are going out, plan to wear loose, lightweight and light-colored clothing that covers as much of your skin as practical. Limit your exposure to direct sunlight between 10AM and 4PM, when the sun's rays are at their strongest.

Drink plenty of water before you become thirsty and rest in the shade before you become tired!

Water is normally the best drink during hot weather, and you'll need more than you think. Avoid soda, alcohol, or caffeine as they can make the heat's effect on your body worse. Symptoms of dehydration and heat illness may include dizziness, fatigue, faintness, nausea, muscle cramps, headache and vomiting.

Consider a cool place to visit or stay during the hottest part of the day.

Libraries, (note that Tacoma libraries are closed on Sunday and Monday) theaters, shopping malls and community facilities such as senior centers and parks may offer an air-conditioned refuge.

Many heat emergencies occur to people exercising, working or staying alone. Use a buddy system and check on elderly, disabled or at-risk neighbors on a regular basis. If you suspect someone is experiencing a medical emergency from extreme heat exposure, call 9-1-1.

Never leave children, pets or dependent adults alone in a hot car.

Even with the windows down, the temperature inside a parked vehicle can quickly rise to lethal levels.

More detailed heat safety information can be found at National Weather Service and the Center for Disease Control.

National Environment Public Health Tracking Network