Firehouse clinics: An evolution of EMS

EMS will need to continue to focus on areas like this

Editor’s Note:

Editor's note: An article this week outlines how a Colo. chief is turning firehouses into clinics. It's all part of the much-need process to evolve EMS, says Art Hsieh.

We've been discussing the future of paramedic care a lot over the past few months.

While this does not directly involve community care paramedics, the use of prehospital personnel in a more preventative model is related to the evolving concept.

It makes sense that the department can serve its community even more than it does now, at a low cost and effort.

If it can spare a pound of cure by serving an ounce of prevention, everyone wins, especially the patient.

Having health care volunteers assist in the examination can make the idea even more effective.

Other systems have conducted pulmonary evaluations during on scene evaluations, while some urban agencies are working closely to public health officials to reduce the impact of chronic and homeless patients on their EMS systems.

EMS will need to continue to evolve in these small but significant steps in order to remain truly viable in the future of health care.

I am confident that, over time, instances such as this become the norm in many parts of the country, rather than the exception.

It will require more education and a better understanding of how our bodies function and disease happens, but it will be worth the effort.


About the author

EMS1 Editorial Advisor Art Hsieh, MA, NREMT-P currently teaches at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. Since 1982, Art has worked as a line medic and chief officer in the private, third service and fire-based EMS. He has directed both primary and EMS continuing education programs. Art is a textbook author, has presented at conferences nationwide, and continues to provide patient care at an EMS service in Northern California. Contact Art at

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