Why Cities Should Consider Medic Engines instead of rescue Ambulances Outline

  1. You are the fire chief. The city manager, a former fire chief has asked for a staff report and PowerPoint presentation on whether the city should consider going to medic engines and eliminating the rescue ambulances. The previous city he worked in used a third party service to staff BLS ambulances services through a private company, saving thousands of dollars and eliminating worker compensation claims by 75%, and reducing overtime by 30 %. Explain the advantages/disadvantages and the potential cost saving if any or cost increases in your report/presentation


  • The fire menace in cities
  • The city served
  • Overview data on past incidences
  • Overview data on fire department staffing and operational cost
  • The need for functional fire departments
    • Fire fighters
    • Medic engines
    • Rescue ambulances


  • Emergence of ‘Blue-Light Collaboration
  • Collaborations in the contemporary city disaster response
  • Community involvement
  • Importance of blue light collaborations
  • Incorporating police officers into fire stations
  • Cross-service trainings for firefighters
  • Emergency trainings prevents overlapping roles during disasters
  • Provision of life-saving during disasters
  • Effectiveness of Collaborations
  • Stakeholder involvements
  • Outsourcing and cost reduction

Advantages of Medic Engines

  • Utilizing fire station software for gathering responses from fire departments, health departments, and incident scenes
  • Shorter time for training personnel e.g paramedics
  • Lower training costs for the paramedics
  • Quicker response compared to ambulances
  • Increase in on-duty shifts
  • Better service delivery to a larger geographical location
  • The size of the city (population and area size)

Disadvantages of Medic Engines

  • Startup costs may be higher in the absence of substantial savings
  • Recurring costs (staff benefits and equipment) may rise up to $700,000 annually

Potential Cost of Medic Engines

  • Initial start-up costs
  • A medic engine costs around $500,000 while an ambulance goes for around $ 70,000
  • Fuel consumption rounding to about 2-5 miles per gallon of diesel fuel
  • Preventative and maintenance cost approximating to $4500 per annum
  • Paramedic training course cost of $1,200 per trainee

Cost Cutting

  • Reduction in Overall staffing
  • Peak demand staffing
  • Rightsizing of the staff and population coverage
  • Progressive Communication centers
  • Utilizing response data in planning
  • Reduces hiring costs for paramedics by about $ 38,702 per annum per ambulance
  • Better resource allocation and utilization