HFD Field Response

Vehicle driving towards a plume of smoke

Responding to a multiple alarm warehouse fire in south Houston

An integral part of the McGovern Medical School’s EMS Fellowship education is experience in field response with the Houston Fire Department.  As part of their role as an EMS Fellow, each fellow will be issued a take-home emergency response vehicle for their use for fellowship activities.  They will be given emergency vehicle operations training, including vehicle orientation, emergency driving, city familiarization, and equipment familiarization, prior to their being issued the vehicle.  The vehicle is available to the fellow for field response 24/7 during their fellowship once issued, and fellows are encouraged to actively respond to calls throughout their fellowship.

EMS physicians at shelter

EMS Fellow Dr. Renee Johnson on scene with Drs. Saranya Srinivasan, Kevin Schulz, and Lars Thestrup and Dr. Kevin Sirmons of the MN-1 DMAT at the George R. Brown megashelter during the Hurricane Harvey response.

The fellow emergency response vehicle is fully stocked with PPE and equipment, including:

  • LifePak15 cardiac monitor
  • Fully stocked ALS drug bag
  • O2 cylinder with supplies
  • McGrath video laryngoscope
  • RSI drug kit (physicians only)
  • Technical rescue-certified protective extrication gear
  • Ballistic vest and helmet for active threat response
  • BioChem PPE kit for highly infectious patient response
  • Rain gear
  • Access to V-scan handheld U/S machines and LifePak15 monitors with arterial line monitoring capability

The Houston Fire Department has a culture that has includes physician field response for over 30 years, making EMS Fellow field response not only an accepted part of the prehospital landscape, but one that is expected within the department. The crews are excited to have EMS Fellows show up on scene, and it provides the fellows an opportunity to provide feedback and just-in-time education to the crews, as well as to learn the skills and nuances of prehospital medicine on the front lines.