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The East Fishkill Rescue Squad

The East Fishkill Rescue Squad provides emergency medical services at a Basic Life Support (BLS) level to the residents of the Town of East Fishkill and surrounding communities. Under a pre-planned mutual aid agreement, when there are multiple calls, we provide assistance to our neighbors and they in turn help us.

The Rescue Squad leadership consists of a Rescue Assistant Chief, a Captain, and 4 Lieutenants.  The responsibility of staffing the ambulance is primarily the responsibility of the 4 Lieutenants; however, it is every member’s responsibility to make sure there is always a crew assigned to the ambulance when the ambulance is rostered.

In the 1960s, the need for an EMS provider gave rise to the East Fishkill Rescue Squad.  Formed in 1967, the members of the Rescue Squad originally responded to emergencies with a 1965 Cadillac ambulance. Most members had basic first aid and/or no training at all.  As time went on, New York State set minimum requirements for staffing an ambulance, including having a minimum of one Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) on board at all times.

EMT certification requires attending a class that runs a college semester, including passing a written and a practical exam. The EMT certification is good for 3 years at which point you must be recertified.  With an EMT on board, the squad is certified at the BLS level. If the patient requires interventions beyond the BLS level, an Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulance would be dispatched.  An ALS ambulance requires a Paramedic, to administer medications, intubate a patient, and any other interventions as needed.


Fast forward to 2023…

Present day, the Rescue Squad has two BLS ambulances and approximately 40 certified EMTs.  The NYS EMT curriculum has been revised over the years and is more complex and time-consuming, requiring over 180 hours of training to complete the certification. For highly populated, large events and other emergencies inaccessible by ambulance, the Rescue Squad utilizes the 6x6 ATV with a specially mounted EMS bed.

The Rescue Squad, with increased training at the BLS level, is now able to administer Naloxone for drug overdoses, Albuterol for asthma, Epinephrine for allergic reactions, and Glucose for diabetic emergencies. We also utilize a CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) device to provide constant and steady air pressure to someone in respiratory distress. Many of us are also trained for active shooter situations. In addition, the Rescue Squad has two mechanical chest compression devices, designed to deliver high-quality chest compressions to sudden cardiac arrest patients, both in the field and during emergency medical transport.  The “LUCAS” devices are proven to be more efficient and effective than manual CPR.

Over the years, call volume has also increased significantly and continues to grow each day. Due to the high call volume, the District contracts with Empress Ambulance to provide dedicated ALS services and BLS services for times when the Rescue Squad is off shift. If Empress transports the patient to the hospital, the patient’s insurance company may receive a bill for their services.  This is normally covered by medical insurance.

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East Fishkill Fire District
2502 Route 52
Hopewell Junction, NY 12533

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