Fire fighters in New Rochelle not only fight fires, but are also fully trained and equipped Basic Life Support (BLS) units. All New Rochelle firefighters are New York State Department of Health (DOH) certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). Each firehouse has a "EMS-Engine" assigned. Many times an Engine is closer to an emergency scene and is dispatched along with a paramedic ambulance which provides Advanced Support (ALS) unit.
The City of New Rochelle contracts with a commercial ambulance service to provide dedicated ALS Ambulances. Currently the City contracts with Transcare Ambulance Service for two ambulances 24 hours a day 7 days a week. These units are stationed at Fire Station #1 on Harrison Street and Station #3 on North Avenue. A third ALS ambulance is on-duty from 7am to 7pm (our busiest time). This unit is not assigned to a fire station and is considered a “floater”. In general this unit tries to stag itself on Quaker Ridge Road.
The Engine is called a "First Responder" since it is expected to arrive first on the scene and render emergency care as quickly as possible. After the paramedic ambulance arrives the members of the engine company will assist those paramedics. With this technology and progressive management system, the citizens of New Rochelle are provided with both rapid response and quality care at a time when they are most in need.
Approximately 60% of emergency calls to the Fire Department are for medical emergencies and the New Rochelle Fire Department is considered a leader in Westchester for the way it provides EMS to our community. NRFD started training as EMT’s over 30 years ago. NRFD was the 1st fire department in the county to develop and deliver the following services:
· 1st Westchester first response agency certified to carry automatic external defibrillators (AED’s).
· 1st Westchester EMT’s certified to carry and administer EPI pens to treat anaphylaxis (life threatening allergic reactions (often to food or bee stings)
· 1st Westchester EMT’s certified to carry and administer Albuterol Nebulizers to treat Asthmatic patients.
· 1st Westchester EMT’s certified to carry and administer MARK I nerve agent antidote (for chemical WMD incidents).
When someone calls the Fire Department (via 9-1-1) and they advise the New Rochelle Police Dispatcher (on a landline) or the New York State Police Dispatcher (on a cell phone) that they have a medical emergency or need an ambulance that call is transferred to the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services (DES). DES’s Emergency Communications Center (ECC) staff members are trained to calm distressed callers, obtain critical dispatch information and, if needed, provide pre-arrival medical instructions. The ECC operators are certified in emergency medical dispatch by the National Academies of Emergency Dispatchers. This nationally recognized program is designed to teach communication operators how to best obtain critical information and coach the callers in providing immediate assistance if required.