The Medical Services Division oversees all emergency medical care, emergency medical training, and Mobile Integrated Healthcare services for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.

​The Medical Services Division ensures personnel are trained and prepared to provide exceptional pre-hospital care and treatment. PBCFR responds to all emergency incidents, ranging from medical calls to traumatic injuries. The Division collaborates with healthcare experts at the local, state, and national levels to develop innovative, evidence-based medical protocols. Continuous research and evaluation of new medical equipment allow the division to implement protocols and procedures, which enhances patient care. 

Medical Directors PBCFR has a team of nine Medical Directors who provide paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) with the necessary training and oversight. On a weekly basis, Medical Directors work in the field responding to emergency calls al​ongside EMS captains. Their education and experience provides the highest level of pre-hospital patient care. 

Training and Education Ongoing development of PBCFR personnel remains a priority of the organization, enabling achievement and maintenance of the highest levels of patient care. In FY 2022, the Medical Services Division provided EMS training for 72 recruits and hosted two paramedic development courses transforming 52 state or nationally certified paramedics into highly trained PBCFR paramedics. 

Mobile Integrated Healthcare PBCFR's Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) program enhances the EMS approach by assisting patients with social services and medical needs after their 911 call. MIH provides a multidisciplinary assessment and care coordination by partnering with medical social workers and community paramedics to guide and support patients in navigating their unique needs.

Emergency Triage, Treatment, and Transport This innovative program allows beneficiaries to access the most appropriate emergency services at the right time and place. The Emergency Triage, Treatment, and Transport (ET3) model's objective is to offer patients options by providing transport to alternate destinations, such as specialized psychiatric facilities. PBCFR is developing another option to provide treatment in place with a qualified health care practitioner on scene or virtually, using telehealth. The ET3 model also aims to improve quality and lower costs by reducing avoidable transports to emergency care facilities and unnecessary hospitalizations.

​The Medical Services Division is grateful for the EMTs and paramedics on the apparatus making a difference in the community every day. PBCFR's dedicated emergency personnel motivate the Division to offer the best training, tools, and support to serve the community.

Specific incidences involving strokes, heart attacks, septic shock, or trauma are categorized as an “Alert."  Unique criterion defines and classifies different “Alert" types. Trained personnel can rapidly address, treat, and expedite patient transport. Emergency medical responders in transit notify the receiving emergency care facility of an “Alert" via radio; this allows emergency care providers to better prepare for receiving a critical patient and activating specially trained personnel.

  • ​Trauma Alert - Rapid recognition and notification of severe, potentially life-threatening traumatic injury.
  • STEMI Alert - Specific criteria indicate a patient suffering from a heart attack or STEMI (ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction).
  • ​Sepsis Alert - Signs and symptoms identified consistent with septic shock, a life-threatening complication of infection.
  • ​​Stroke Alert - Rapid onset of signs and symptoms associated with hemorrhagic strokes (brain-bleeds) and ischemic strokes (vessel occlusion in the brain) identified.​​

Whole Blood Transfusion

In effort to improve the service delivery in our community, PBCFR took a major step toward increasing the survival rate of trauma patients. Intra-departmental data analysis of trauma patient survival provided clear evidence of the need to give more intensive care as soon as possible. Research has shown that two critical actions can improve survival odds of a bleeding trauma patient; first, stop the bleeding and second, replace lost blood.

With the support of Palm Beach County leadership and guidance from the latest available peer-reviewed medical research, PBCFR began developing a plan to deliver pre-hospital blood transfusions to patients most in need. Over the course of four years, PBCFR collaborated with local trauma centers and other partners to complete logistical planning, develop a comprehensive training regimen, and ensure the entire process is ethical and legal. PBCFR is now one of only a handful of agencies nationwide and the only agency in Palm Beach County capable of delivering this level of service. 

On July 5th, 2022, PBCFR took delivery of the very first blood products to be carried by a fire rescue agency in Palm Beach County. On July 30th, PBCFR transfused its first patient.