EMS Merges with SFFD

EMS Merges with SFFD

Announcement Date: November 14, 1997

In 1997, the Department of Public Health, Paramedic Division merged with the San Francisco Fire Department.  This merger placed ambulances at Fire Stations and adjusted the paramedic work schedule to 24-hour shifts.  During the years 1999 through 2004, the Department developed the implementation of paramedic-staffed engine companies, bringing a higher level of care to patients faster.   Beginning in 2004, a reconfiguration of ambulance deployment was implemented, moving the 24-hour station-based ambulances to short-shift strategically-placed ambulances.  As part of the reconfiguration, geographically-relevant posting locations have been implemented for the positioning of ambulances, and the scheduling of ambulances has been adjusted to accommodate the busiest times of the day.  The new deployment, completed in July 2009, has benefited the Department in flexibility of scheduling, increased efficiency, and improved response times, creating a more mobile response force to cover the City and County of San Francisco.

The Department is working closely with the SF Department of Emergency Management to continue to improve our efficiencies and decrease our response times.  There are plans to implement a fully operational Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL) system, which will allow the Computer Aided Dispatch system to pick the closest appropriate vehicle for a particular medical call.  The deployment of a Predictive Intelligence system is also being considered, which will decrease response times by optimizing the location of our available dynamic ambulances based on expected call volume, location from historical data, and traffic patterns.