Emergency Medical Services
The Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) Emergency Ambulance Service responds to emergency 999 or 112 calls.
Dublin Fire Brigade’s Emergency Medical Service, which is unique in Britain and Ireland, uses the combined strengths of fire service and ambulance service to provide a complete public safety system.
The Fire Brigade has provided the citizens of Dublin City and County with a fire and rescue service since 1862. This service was enhanced in1898 by the addition of an emergency ambulance service. In 2007 with 12 emergency ambulances DFB responded to 78,864 ambulance incidents, with the figure growing each year.
Dublin Fire Brigade provides an emergency ambulance service to the citizens and visitors of Dublin. Dublin Fire Brigade is the only Brigade in the country to provide an Emergency Ambulance Service. Dublin Fire Brigade operates 12 emergency ambulances with one ambulance operating from each full time station with the exception of Dun Laoghaire.
Emergency Ambulance Service
DFB’s Firefighters are trained to Paramedic level and are registered as practitioners with the pre-hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC), meaning there are over 100 Paramedics available on a 24/7 basis in the event of a major emergency. All operational firefighters rotate between Fire and Rescue to Emergency Ambulance duties. Dublin Fire Brigade Ambulance Service has achieved accreditation under the ISO 9001/2000 Quality Management System.
Paramedic First Response Fire Appliance
If an incident warrants further assistance, for example with cardiac arrests or possible spinal injuries, either our Paramedic First Response fire appliances or Emergency First Response (EFR) fire appliances are dispatched automatically with the ambulance. This means that pre-hospital emergency care can be initiated sooner in the case of a life threatening or serious illness or injury.
Advanced Paramedic vehicle
The Brigade also runs an Advanced Paramedic service on a part-time basis from its headquarters in Townsend Street. Advanced Paramedics can provide advanced life support and administer a larger range of medications to patients. Endotracheal intubation and intravenous access also form a core part of the Advanced Paramedic’s skills.
Paramedic training is provided by the DFB-RCSI Training Institute. The Institute is a partnership between Dublin Fire Brigade and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). Tutors consist of Dublin Fire Brigade Officers, external tutors and lecturing doctors and consultants.
All new recruits during their initial training complete a nine-weeks in the classroom to prepare them for the PHECC National Qualification in Emergency Medical Technology (NQEMT) Paramedic assessment (Part 1). They are then entered onto the PHECC professional register as a Paramedic Intern.
During the Paramedic undergraduate internship, each intern completes a field clinical placement on a Dublin Fire Brigade Emergency Ambulance and Paramedic First Response Fire Appliance under the direction of experienced Firefighter-Paramedics. Interns work along side medical and nursing staff in Adult and Paediatric Emergency Departments, Coronary Care Units and Maternity Hospitals as well as a placement on one of the brigade’s Advanced Paramedic vehicles.
Throughout these placements the recruits work as part of the emergency healthcare team, document all their cases and maintain a learning portfolio.
The undergraduate internship is a minimum of 18 weeks plus 1 week Trauma Life Support course. Each intern then sits the NQEMT Paramedic assessment (Part 2). Interns then begin a further year-long internship during which they complete three competency assessments and professional development modules. On successful completion of the programme each student then enters the PHECC professional register at Paramedic level and receive a diploma from the RCSI. The entire programme takes two years to complete.