Why does a fire engine come when I only request an ambulance?

All firefighters are trained to provide at least basic emergency medical treatment. Certain types of medical emergencies require more than the standard two members of an ambulance crew for lifting assistance, carrying equipment, and otherwise assisting the medic personnel on scene to better serve the patient.

There are times a fire truck arrives at an incident first because it is the closest emergency unit to the scene and we are committed to getting help to your location as fast as possible. As mentioned above, firefighters are trained to provide basic emergency medical treatment. About 50% of the department is trained in advanced life support (ALS) care. Since there are only three paramedic units in the City, firefighters respond to all calls involving life-threatening symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, chest pains, and severe bleeding. They can initiate treatment to stabilize patients and provide information to the paramedics en route to the call so they will be aware of any additional equipment that will be needed on the scene.

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1. Why do your fire trucks use lights and sirens, even in the middle of the night when there is no traffic?
2. Why does a fire engine come when I only request an ambulance?
3. Why do you send so many fire vehicles to a fire, especially a small fire?
4. I saw a City of Salem fire truck at a grocery store and some of the firefighters were inside shopping for food. Why do firefighters use fire trucks for non-emergency purposes while they are on duty?
5. How do I arrange to tour a fire station?
6. How can I get a copy of a fire incident or medical incident report?
7. What do you do with my personal information after I call 911?
8. How can I get a smoke detector from the fire department? Will you change the batteries?
9. Where can I go to have my child safety seat inspected or installed?
10. How do I dispose of hypodermic needles?
11. Is there open burning in the City of Salem?
12. Where can I find more information on fire training, emergency management and the like?
13. I need information that I couldn't find on your site. What now?