To Our Residents,
The nation is experiencing unprecedented lock downs and quarantines in a concerted effort to control the spread of the Corona Virus 19 (COVID19). Our community has not been spared from being impacted and I wanted to take the time to let everyone know what your fire district is doing and how we are prepared to handle this emergency.
Much like anything else, preplanning is necessary to success and since we are first responders to all risk emergencies, we have taken great efforts to preplan for just such an event. Your fire district employs many people with advanced training and specialized degrees in fields related to emergency work. One officer has a master’s degree in disaster preparedness, another has a bachelor’s degree in fire service management, and several have degrees in Paramedicine and other related fields. Formal education is but a supplement to the training received and we have a nationally certified Executive Fire Officer (EFO) that completed a four-year program covering such topics as pandemics and emergency services. We have multiple paramedics certified at the state and national level and all have received special training in hazardous materials and epidemiology. We have several Hazardous Materials Technicians (the highest level of first responder certification available) that are trained in biological hazards as well as other hazardous materials. All of our employees have training to provide advance interventions to treat people in need, this is unique to our community as all of our providers exceed the state requirements. This advanced level of care required a physician to allow the override of state requirements-essentially allowing our employees to do more than paramedics and EMTs are allowed to do per state guidelines. This mean that extra training and certifications were required, which translates to the residents of Picture Rocks getting “more bang for their buck” if you will, having the highest level of trained first responders coming to their aid when necessary.
We at PRFMD are also very fortunate to have received, for the second time a federal grant for firefighter/ems staffing. This funding became available March 10th 2020 and we hired 10 new folks to fight fires and run medical calls. Our increased level of staffing helps ensure that the help you may need, is there if you need it. PRFMD has been very fortunate and has literally been awarded millions of dollars over the past few years in grant funding, that eases the tax burden on our residents and allows us to perform and serve at a much higher level than would be possible without this income.
We are partnered with Banner UMC as our base hospital (all fire and ems agencies are required to have a “base” hospital for physician oversight and direction). BUMC has been incredibly supportive and aggressive in the advancement of modern treatment modalities and patient care models. We at PRFMD carry and are allowed to use medications that most agencies in Arizona are not, providing better, faster, safer care to our neighbors here that call 911.
We have partnerships with many public and private agencies and our training is varied and extensive in these respects. We are on duty 24 hours a day and seven days a week and will be throughout this pandemic. We have followed the state and federal guidelines for social distancing, exposures and patient treatment/transport. Firefighters and EMS professionals are at their best when things are the worst. I want to reassure the residents of our community that we are here, and will be here ready to respond to any and all emergencies at a seconds notice with quick, competent and caring individuals willing to serve this community we are an inherent part of.
Stay strong Picture Rocks!