October 10, 2016 – Officers and Members of the Rockville Volunteer Fire Department presented ALS703 to the Rockville Mayor and Council. The unit which was recently placed in service was purchased with grant funding from the City of Rockville. The RVFD would like to thank Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton and the council for their support to the RVFD and the citizens we serve. ALS703 staffed with a Paramedic responds to reported critical emergency medical calls alongside an ambulance staffed with Emergency Medical Technicians. ALS703 allows the paramedic to rapidly assess a patient and determine if advanced life support (ALS) is needed. After the assessment, the paramedic will transport (ride with) the patient in the ambulance to the hospital when advanced care is needed. The advantage to the Paramedic Chase Unit program is if the patient does not require the care of a paramedic during transport, the paramedic is able to immediately return to service. This reduces the time a paramedic is unavailable to provide care to other potential patients. Prior to the Paramedic Chase Unit or ALS Chase Car like ALS703, paramedics where assigned to transport ambulances. With the paramedic being assigned to the transport ambulance, they were the primary care provider even when a patient did not require higher level care.
Currently MCFRS has Paramedic Chase Units at the Rockville Volunteer Fire Department, Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad and Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad. These units are all owned by these local fire and rescue departments and staffed with MCFRS career and volunteer professionals. Throughout the coming months MCFRS will place additional PCU’s in service so that we can provide a more efficient delivery of ALS service throughout the county.