HINESBURG FIRE DEPARTMENT
Post Office Box 12
Hinesburg, Vermont 05461
Al Barber, Chief
An Overview of Emergency Medical Services in Hinesburg
This information is to provide an overview of how emergency medical services are provided in Hinesburg and St. George.
Hinesburg Fire Department provides first response services prior to an ambulance arriving. Our first responders typically are on scene, depending time of day and location in town, within 3-6 minutes of the initial call which is excellent for a volunteer department. Hinesburg Community Police are also licensed EMS providers as part of the Fire Department. The personnel levels of training range from EMR (Emergency Medical Responders), EMT (Emergency Medical Technicians) and AEMT (Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians).
All EMS personnel carry jump kits and oxygen in their personal vehicles. The police cruisers are equipped with jump kits, oxygen and AEDs (automatic defibrillators for cardiac events). There are six more AEDs which have been placed with EMT’s at strategic locations which are carried in their personal vehicles. Fire apparatus are also equipped with jump kits and AEDs.
Med 100 our primary first response truck carries all the equipment that an Advance Life Support ambulance will carry, with the exception of a stretcher for transport to the hospital. Our Engine 3 also has a backup set of EMS equipment should there be two calls at once or more equipment is needed on a scene. We frequently look at the response times to ensure we’re getting the best response times from our ambulances.
In the mid-70’s a group of citizens from Hinesburg, St. George and Williston, concerned about the amount of time that it took for an ambulance to get to an emergency, formed Iroquois First Response as a stop gap measure to initiate rapid medical care. In 1999 Iroquois dissolved and First Response duties were taken over by Hinesburg Fire Department for Hinesburg and St. George.
We are a State licensed Advanced Life Support level First Response organization. We are charged by the Vermont Department of Health with selecting the transport ambulance and the backup matrix should the primary transporter not be available. (See appendix A)
In choosing the sequence that ambulances are called in, there are several factors that contribute to the matrix. First consideration is history of the organization, which equates to reliability. Second is size and depth of crews. Third are the roads which the ambulance needs to travel to get to the call. Fourth is response time to the scenes. We frequently look at the response times to ensure we’re getting the best response times from our ambulances. Some might think that training might be an issue but that is closely regulated by the Vermont Department of Health, Emergency Medical Service Division and the assumption is that services are generally equal most at paramedic level.
The backup matrix (Appendix A) comes into play when either additional ambulances are needed at a scene or St. Mike’s is not available. The second design element in the matrix is the response areas. We have designed a four zone matrix layout to ensure the next closest back-up ambulance is called. Keeping in mind they all have their own primary coverage areas in which they are taking calls and may well not be available.
Zone 1(Northwest) West of and including Rt 116, south of and including Shb Falls Rd
Zone 2(Northeast) East & Including Pond Rd/North Rd/North and including Rmd Rd/Hollow Rd
Zone 3(Southeast) East of & Incl Silver St South of & Incl Rt 116 from Friendship Ln to Hin/Sbo line
Zone 4(Southwest) South of & Including Charlotte Rd; West of & Including Baldwin Rd
Detailed analysis of Ambulance Response times 2012-2016
St. Michaels (3 Yr only)
Information about the response time Appendix B
Response time= time from receiving call to acknowledgement on radio
Travel time= time acknowledge to arriving on scene
Time to Scene= Initial call time to time arriving on scene
Total On Scene time= time from arrival on scene to beginning of transport to hospital
Total time= Time from initial call to time back in service from hospital
Why St. Michael’s Rescue
St. Michael’s Rescue has been in service since December 1969 with continuous service since then driven by a nearly all college based staffing. In 2016 they became a paramedic level service.
St. Mike’s is 200 yards from Exit 15 on Interstate 89. When coming to our calls they travel 89 to Exit 12 then down RT 2A to RT 116. These are all state maintained highways. They typically respond with a crew of three to four members. This is very important as when a patient needs critical care they have enough staff on board to provide it. Should another ambulance service with only two crew members respond we will need to send some of our members in the ambulance to assist with care. We then need to send either a Hinesburg Police officer or other on duty first responder to the hospital to retrieve the member stripping the town of coverage.
St. Michael’s Rescue has a three year average response time to our area of twenty two minutes (see appendix B) as data shows from the state records system shows. Because of their proximity to UVMMC their turnaround times from calls are much quicker which equates to more availability versus other services.
Use of Air transport
Dhart is the primary air ambulance transport for this area. Their travel time from West Lebanon airport to Hinesburg area is 22 minutes once they lift off. Depending on weather it may take 5-10 minutes for the crew to activate, check weather and accept the assignment. Once on scene it may take 8-10 minutes to load patient once they are on the ground. Travel time is generally 5-10 minutes leaving the total run time upwards of 52 minutes.
Be careful with outdoor burning. Keep piles away from structures and low hanging branches.
Please do not forget to call for a burn permit.