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Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad
Memorandum of Understanding with the
DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department
May 10, 2001




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March 2001


Memorandum of Understanding: The District of Columbia Fire and EMS Department and the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad

In the spirit of cooperation and in an effort to provide the best possible pre-hospital emergency medical care to the residents of the District of Columbia, this Memorandum of Understanding (Memorandum) is entered into by the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (FEMS) and the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad (BCCRS). The parties agree to abide by the letter and the spirit of this Memorandum unless and until modified or amended by a written amendment signed by the FEMS and the BCCRS, or otherwise superseded by law.
In consideration of the mutual promises and covenants set forth herein, the sufficiency of which is acknowledged, the parties hereto agree as follows:

Article I

If a District of Columbia resident calls BCCRS directly for emergency medical services, BCCRS will immediately notify the FEMS Communications Supervisor via the direct line, giving all particulars, which include but are not limited to, type of injury or illness, level of consciousness, location, age, sex, ETA to incident location, and any other pertinent clinical information, or specific requests. BCCRS will dispatch the Basic Life Support (BLS) unit to the incident. The Basic Life Support Unit shall be capable of using Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDS). Predicated upon the information received, and using the District of Columbia medical protocols previously established, FEMS will make a determination as to the appropriate level of patient care and may dispatch additional equipment as required by the District of Columbia emergency medical protocols. In concurrence with the FEMS Communications Supervisor, BCCRS may dispatch an Advanced Life Support (ALS) Unit.

The intent of the parties is that calls or other requests for assistance received and being processed by BCCRS will not be duplicated with BLS units of FEMS. FEMS may supplement a BCCRS response to a BLS call by dispatching the nearest Fire Fighting Division (FFD) company. Nothing in this Memorandum shall be deemed to limit the ability of the FEMS to make an Advanced Life Support (ALS) response to situations determined to require ALS.

Article II

In an emergency situation, other than fire related emergencies, occurring within the BCCRS service area, as defined below, to which a rescue squad would normally be dispatched and when a FEMS rescue squad is unavailable within the BCCRS service area, and further, it is determined by the FEMS Communications Division that BCCRS is geographically closer than a FEMS rescue squad, then BCCRS may be requested to respond to the incident. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, FEMS reserves the right to dispatch any apparatus deemed appropriate by FEMS to any incident in the District of Columbia.

The BCCRS service area is defined as that area lying within the following boundaries:

    5000 block of MacArthur Boulevard, N.W., 2600 block of Foxhall Road, N.W., 2300 block of 44th Street, N.W., 2800 block of New Mexico Avenue, N.W., 2900 block of Wisconsin Avenue, N. W., 2900 block of 34th Street, N. W., 3100 block of Connecticut Avenue, N. W., and Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park northerly to the boundary line of the District of Columbia with Montgomery County, Maryland.

Article III

It is agreed that calls received directly by BCCRS for inter-hospital emergency transport or routine nonemergency transportation from a point of origin within the BCCRS service area shall be handled by BCCRS in accordance with its established policies, including notification to FEMS via the direct line.

Article IV

It is further agreed that BCCRS shall continue its stand-by participation at social/civic activities in the District of Columbia. BCCRS shall notify FEMS prior to providing such services.

Article V

It is understood that in all matters of incident command, the ranking member of FEMS on the scene shall be in full command and any command decisions rendered by said incident commander shall be complied with. Medical control shall be retained by the first arriving Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel (ambulance or medic unit) unless subsequently arriving personnel are capable of providing a higher level of care (i.e., ALS vs. BLS) or unless the first arriving personnel release care of the patient to subsequently arriving personnel.

During the term of this Memorandum and in order to be most responsive to patient needs and desires, the parties agree that each will act so as to cooperate and aid in the rendering of care by the other party, where such care is administered in accordance with the provisions of this agreement.

Article VI

The parties agree that each will conduct operations within the District of Columbia in accordance with the relevant laws of the District of Columbia.

Article VII

No later than each January 15th, April 15th, July 15th and October 15th, BCCRS shall submit a report to FEMS which specifies the number of BLS and ALS calls that BCCRS responded to in the BCCRS service area for the previous quarter.

Article VIII

In order to ensure that the terms and intent of this Memorandum are efficiently administered and operated, the principals agree to meet as necessary to resolve any operational difficulties which may arise and to meet at the end of each year to review the success of operations under this Memorandum.

Article IX

This agreement shall remain in effect for a period of one year from the date it is executed by both parties. The agreement shall automatically renew for additional one-year terms, unless otherwise modified or terminated.

Article X

This agreement may be terminated, by either party at any time and for any reason, upon 60 days advance written notice to the other party.

Ronnie Few
Fire/EMS Chief
District of Columbia
Fire and EMS Department
May 1, 2001

Edward G. Shelburne
Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad
May 10, 2001

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