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The original item was published from 5/22/2018 9:37:43 AM to 1/1/2019 12:05:15 AM.

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Bristol News

Posted on: May 22, 2018

[ARCHIVED] 05/22/18 Celebrating EMS Week

Celebrating EMS Week

A day in the life of a Bristol Tennessee Firefighter/Paramedic/EMT


The City of Bristol Tennessee is celebrating Emergency Medical Services Week, May 20-26.

All City firefighters are certified, at least, to the level of Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). 38 full-time firefighters are certified EMT’s, and an additional 29 are trained to the Paramedic level.  In addition, 5 part-time personnel are trained as paramedics to supplement full time staffing. There are also specialty teams such as swift water rescue, confined space rescue, and a HAZMAT team that firefighters may train and become certified in.

The Fire Department answers, on average, a total of 5,200 calls in any given 12 month period. Approximately 4,100 of those calls are medical and 1,100 are fire related.

Many people may think the life of a firefighter is one where the team waits at the firehouse for the next fire alarm or medical call, nothing could be further from reality.

 A day in the life of a Firefighter/Paramedic/EMT for the Bristol Tennessee Fire Department starts off with five stations being manned with a total of 21 firefighters per shift. Firefighters typically work 24-hour shifts, they may respond to a house fire, a multi-vehicle accident, a lifesaving emergency medical call, or a HAZMAT scene all in one day. The calls come at all hours of the day or night. 

Each day the crews perform fire inspections in local businesses, hydrant painting, station maintenance, hose testing, and preparing or reviewing incident pre-plans in addition to obtaining the required hours of continuing education/training.

At any point in time department activities are subject to change due to an EMS/Fire response.

The greatest challenges of being a Firefighter/Paramedic/EMT are meeting the training requirements in order for the department to retain National Fire Accreditation and the significant ISO rating while performing the duty requirements of the day.         

“Most anyone will tell you the best aspect of the job is that nothing is ever the same and you have the opportunity to work with a great group of people who become family,” said Interim Asst. Chief David McGlamery.

“Please join us in celebrating the brave men who serve our city in the capacity of Firefighters, Paramedics, and Emergency Medical Technicians 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Our first responders who work to save lives and property in our community are being celebrated during the week of May 20-26,” said Bill Sorah, City Manager.

For more information on EMS Week please contact Asst. Chief David McGlamery at 423-989-5701 or

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