The Rialto Fire Department has provided ambulance transportation services since 1971. Although Emergency Medical Services delivery has significantly changed over the last 45 years, the City of Rialto continues to receive the service enhancement of fire department based ambulance transportation. The traditional model of fire service ambulance deployment includes staffing of ambulances with firefighters that are cross-trained as Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). This model was effective in that it provided ambulance service while also increasing the available firefighting force within the City.
The City of Rialto is experiencing an increase in the demand for fire department services, and in particular, the demand for emergency medical care and ambulance transportation. Fueling this increase is a growing reliance on emergency departments and paramedic/ambulance services as the pathway to medical care. These trends are projected to increase with the advent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and have already begun to strain the City's emergency medical resources.
Based on service demand and cost of deployment the current ambulance staffing model is being retooled to include single function, paramedic, and EMT level Ambulance Operators (AO) to staff City owned ambulances. These personnel provide a cost savings to the City over the previous staffing model but, at full deployment, will allow the Fire Department to increase the number of both Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and fire personnel on-duty each day in service to the community.