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- Why do we get an engine when we call for an ambulance?
- Why don’t we have ambulances in every fire station?
- How do paramedics decide whether or not I go to the hospital?
- What do I need to do if I need a patient record?
Q: Why do we get an engine when we call for an ambulance?
A: There are five engines spaced throughout the City of Thornton, but only three ambulances. The engines are staffed with paramedics, and are often the closest responding unit. Therefore, they are the first response unit utilized to get emergency medical personnel to your emergency as quickly as possible.
Q: Why don’t we have ambulances in every fire station?
A: The fire engines are utilized as the initial response, and the ambulances are used to transport patients to the hospital. Some situations do not warrant transport to the hospital, resulting in ‘patient refusal’. Therefore, the City acquires ambulances based on the number of anticipated transports to a hospital, not based on the total number of 911 calls.
Q: How do paramedics decide whether or not I go to the hospital?
A: There is a complex set of protocols that paramedics are responsible for learning and utilizing, under the direction of their Medical Director, who is a licensed emergency physician. Under these protocols, there are certain situations where they must transport to the hospital, and there are some situations where they can leave the patient on the scene. The decision is not based on billing information or personal opinion, but rather it is based on the medical protocols. Often, they consult with an emergency physician over the phone before making the final decision.
Q: What do I need to do if I need a patient record?
A: Contact Fire Administration at 303-538-7602. You will need to complete a Request for Patient Records form, and provide either a copy of a government-issued identification (passport, driver’s license, etc.), or a notarized signature. The request will need to state a specific time frame, in accordance with federal laws. The Fire Department may take up to 30 calendar days to review any request in accordance with federal laws. A copy of the department’s full policy on patient records is available upon request.
For emergency response, call 9-1-1.
For non-emergency information, email us at email@example.com, or call 303-538-7602. Or visit our Contact Information page.