I've had my first day on the chase-car. I've being precepted by the lead Field Training Officer (FTO) and the former chief of the organization. No pressure, maddog.
The "chase car" concept is one that works pretty well in a sparsely populated area that doesn't have a big enough tax-base to afford a fully-staffed paramedic-equipped ambulance on every corner. How this rural county works is this: there are several "rescue squads" who provide a slightly higher level of Basic Life Support care. They can do all the things an EMT-B can but are often staffed by people who can start IVs, give fluids and check glucose. This covers at least 50-70 percent of the calls for Advanced LIfe Support (ALS or, me!).
So, you have about 10 rescue squads with a total of 10-15 BLS ambulances covering an area about the size of Manhattan but with the population of, say, one building in downtown (during the business day).
Yes, we have farms.
Yes, we have tractors.
Yes, they roll over. (more on that later)
Now, the ONLY ALS provider around is the one, the only, the maddog!!! I, and my boss, are in an SUV that was built with the oversized engine, tightened suspension and "flashy-light-thingys" that allow us to go really fast and legally break traffic laws. This vehicle is equipped with all the gear, medicines and such that we need to do our ALS job, versus the BLS job that the ambulances do. Oh, did I mention that it goes REALLY FAST??
This is a recipe for FUN!!!!
-Stomach ache? No, Sir, That's your heart dying!
-Can you breathe through your ears?