Why do fire engines follow ambulances to medical emergency calls?

Chief Mottor say every resource is needed to assure the patient gets to the hospital alive.

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – It may seem excessive, but Easthampton Fire Chief David Mottor told 22News that an extra crew is crucial during what firefighters call the “golden hour.” That’s the hour that first responders have to take a patient to the hospital to increase their chances of survival.

During that hour, first responders may be working on CPR, carrying the patient, using IVs, making calls, and driving.  Chief Mottor says trucks typically follow ambulances if someone has chest pains, isn’t breathing, or is unresponsive.

Sending a full crew out of the station isn’t as risky as it sounds.  “If we’re at the scene with the engine and another call comes in, two people might be able to leave the scene,” Mottor explained, “still leaving three people working on that patient. Or, we rely on mutual aid from another community.”

Chief Mottor says the goal is to give a patient in an emergency as many resources as it takes to help them survive. The chief says their on-scene response time is always much quicker when they send out more crews to a single medical emergency.