Posts Tagged Champaign Fire Chief Gary Ludwig

Champaign Fire Department news (more)

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The Champaign City Council approved changes to a city ordinance that will give the Champaign Fire Department command of actives scenes. Fire Chief Gary Ludwig says these changes are sensible.

Nine times out of ten, the fire department beats the ambulance. That’s notable since more often than not they are responding to medical calls, not fires. That’s why the fire department wants command of scenes that multiple units respond to.

“Everyday we go on car accidents and sometimes multiple fire companies are on the scene, we also have an ambulance on the scene, sometimes multiple ambulances on the scene,” Chief Ludwig says. “As a result of that, there has to be somebody in charge that has coordination of the scene ,not only for safety purposes but also for logistical and operational purposes.”

This is the first update to the ordinance in 30 years.

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Champaign Fire Department news

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Champaign city council members gave initial approval to further integrating the fire department and local ambulance services Tuesday after fire Chief Gary Ludwig proposed changes to the city’s 1988 ambulance ordinance, last updated in 2002.

Ludwig, who claimed his department arrived at 911 scenes a few minutes before ambulances more than 97 percent of the time in 2017, said he envisions having a clearly established chain of command for 911-call response.

He said he wants the fire department to have overall scene command with ambulance personnel responding to a fire department incident commander. But at the scene of a call, this chain of command would put ambulance personnel in charge of all patient-care planning and decisions.

Two private companies, Arrow Ambulance and Pro Ambulance, switch off monthly to provide services in Champaign. The fire department, a public entity, is also trained in emergency-response services.

In addition to integration, Ludwig said he wants to update the 1988 ordinance to reflect advances in emergency-medical-services training, technology, methodology, and data analysis. Overall, his proposed changes affect areas including chain of command, training, and city fees.

Since the last change to annual ambulance license fees was in 2002, Ludwig said, it’s time for a new price. He researched fees in nearby areas and crunched department numbers to come up with a proposal of $15,000 — a major increase from the current $125.

Champaign currently pays about $30,840 per year to provide support and first-response services … including medical supplies and training to ambulance companies, according to the report. That figure excludes costs for labor and METCAD 911 dispatching. The $15,000 price comes from splitting up the total expense for each company.

Another proposed change is to have fire and ambulance personnel do monthly medical training together. This would prepare ambulance personnel for working at fire scenes and helping injured firefighters. Additional training for ambulance management personnel is also proposed, focusing on incident command, awareness and defensive driving — parts of the National Incident Management System.

Ludwig is also asking the ambulance companies to report their response-time data every month instead of about every two months like they do now. The current ordinance doesn’t require any ambulance data reporting.

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Champaign Fire Department news

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Champaign’s Fire Chief Gary Ludwig witnessed the benefits of using mechanical CPR devices in Memphis, Tenn., where he previously was a deputy chief.

That department equipped all of its front-line ambulances with mechanical CPR devices and saw an immediate boost — from 21 percent to 36 percent — in cardiac-arrest patients with a return of spontaneous circulation.

Now the Champaign Fire Department is poised to put 24 of these devices to work in a dozen fire departments in Champaign and Piatt counties with the help of a federal grant, the acceptance of which still requires the approval of the city council.

The fire department has been awarded a $333,819 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and is proposing to keep nine of the mechanical CPR devices it would buy to equip its own vehicles and distribute others to Urbana, Bement, Bondville, Gifford, Homer, Ivesdale, Northern Piatt, Rantoul, Sadorus, Sangamon Valley, and Savoy fire departments.

Reviews about the benefits of mechanical CPR have been mixed. The American Heart Association said in updated (2015) CPR guidelines that evidence for using mechanical piston devices for chest compressions versus manual chest compressions in patients with cardiac arrest “does not demonstrate a benefit.”

“Manual chest compressions remain the standard of care for the treatment of cardiac arrest,” the organization said.

However, it also said, the device may be a reasonable alternative in some settings where high-quality manual CPR delivery may be challenging or dangerous for the provider.

Ludwig said he disputes less-than-favorable studies, based on his previous experience with mechanical CPR use and favorable studies he’s seen on the LUCAS chest compression system, one of the devices on the market.

Ludwig said some studies don’t necessarily show what paramedics and firefighters experience in the field trying to do manual CPR under some circumstances — such as trying to deliver chest compressions in the back of a moving emergency vehicle hanging on with one arm.

Dr. Brad Weir, Carle’s EMS medical director, said these devices deliver “flawless and tireless compressions.”

“Instead of having people do it and switch compressors every couple of minutes, the machine can do it,” he said.

The quality of CPR can begin to fall off as the person doing the chest compressions becomes exhausted, which is why caregivers administering the compressions are advised to switch off every couple of minutes.

“In areas where you may not have as many people to perform the compressions, this could be key to the source of flawless, tireless compressions for a longer time,” Weir said.

Subject to the council’s approval of the grant, Ludwig said firefighters and EMS personnel on a cardiac arrest call will begin with manual CPR, apply the device to the patient, and the patient would ride to the hospital undergoing CPR with the mechanical device.

Approval of the grant isn’t yet on a city council agenda. The federal grant requires council approval because there’s a local funding match of $33,381 involved, according to the fire department.

thanks Dan

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Champaign Fire Department news

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The Champaign Fire Department is now one of the best departments in the nation. This week they [received a] Class One rating, the highest of ten, by the Insurance Services Office or ISO and they are representing the rating with an ISO emblem on their trucks.

They rank in the top 200 departments of 48,000 nationwide.

“That’s why we exist,” Champaign Fire Chief Gary Ludwig said. “We are here to take care of the citizens of Champaign. We’re very excited about that, we’re going to go for an ISO 1. We are up again for reevaluation in the next three or four years. We can get an even better score.”

The score is based on things like training, operations, water flow and communications.

This is the first time the Champaign Fire Department ranked Class One since its inception nearly 150 years ago.

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