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Firefighters work a 24-hour shift and must supply their own food. They combine their money to purchase food for meals. Often, you will see them at a grocery store in a fire engine. Sometimes they receive a call while shopping for food, which means they leave directly from the grocery store and have to come back later to finish their grocery shopping.
Truro Township will sometimes, depending on the type of emergency, send a fire engine and the ambulance to a 911 call to ensure that the public gets the fastest, most effective and appropriate response. The engine crew is there to assist the ambulance crew in moving the patient from the house and if necessary provide extra help in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. We plan for the worst and hope for the best when responding to a call.
The difference between an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and a Paramedic is a significant amount of education. A Paramedic goes through more education and training and can provide a higher level of emergency care including invasive procedures (ALS or Advanced Life Support procedures). A Paramedic is an EMT. There are different levels of EMT training: EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, EMT-Paramedic. Each level requires more training and education than the prior. At Truro Township we strive for the best and most educated personal which is why every Full-time member of the department is a trained paramedic.
In many ways, an ambulance is like a mobile emergency room. The ambulance carries some of the same equipment as the emergency room - and even does the same procedures as the emergency room. Sometimes, a patient needs some medication or a special procedure prior to going to the hospital. Some medical conditions need to be addressed rapidly to ensure a positive outcome for the patient.
During the course of a day it is not unusual for two, three or four calls for an ambulance to come in at the same time. If both of our ambulances are busy we will request an ambulance from the next available township or city. If this needs to happen and the response time would be slower due to an ambulance coming from a further location, a fire engine will automatically be dispatched to provide care prior to the ambulance showing up. This Mutual Aid system works both ways, therefore the Truro Township is commonly dispatched to the other municipalities as well.
On occasion, the fire engine and ambulance will be driving with lights and sirens and then suddenly turn them off--perhaps only to turn into a shopping center parking lot or side street. Be assured that when this happens it means we have received information that the caller or incident is no longer a dire emergency. It is what we call "being cancelled".