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Low Acuity Medical Program

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LA-253 FordWhen you need medical assistance in Gilbert you may see an alternative to a fire truck responding to your call. In an effort to maintain response standards in our growing community, Gilbert Fire & Rescue will be piloting a new response vehicle starting January 30, 2017.  The 12-month Low Acuity Medical Pilot will track the effectiveness of a two-person response model for the less critical medical needs of the community.  The unit will respond in a smaller rescue vehicle and will be staffed with one paramedic and one emergency medical technician (EMT).

By tailoring the response to more accurately reflect the needs of the citizen, Gilbert Fire and Rescue can achieve several long-term goals, including:

  • Increasing the availability of the four-person fire crews to meet the most critical needs of the citizens
  • Maintaining a four-minute response time for critical responses
  • Effectively managing the needs of a growing community through innovation and an eye on fiscal responsibility

This pilot program was developed using historical dispatch data. Gilbert Fire and Rescue has been able to identify when, where and how frequently less acute call types are occurring. This information, along with the data collected from this pilot program, will provide Gilbert Fire and Rescue a better understanding of how to serve the community as Gilbert continues to grow.


Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What is low acuity?  Low acuity is a medical designation.  Low acuity calls are less critical in nature.
  2. Why is this program needed? Our department has identified an increase in medically related responses.  Data has shown that approximately 16% of dispatched medical calls are low acuity in nature.  Our goal with this program is to match resources sent on a call to the resources that are needed.  This program has been designed to enable a two person fire crew to respond to low acuity medical emergencies while keeping the traditional full size fire trucks at the ready for life threatening emergencies and fires. 
  3. How will you be able to determine if my call receives a two person or four person team?
    When you call for assistance the 911 operator asks a series of detailed questions to determine the type of medical emergency you are having.  Your answers to these questions will determine which resources are sent to assist you.
  4. What if my situation escalates and there is only a two person team on the way?
    Gilbert Fire and Rescue Department is 100% committed to the four person response and care for the medically demanding or fire suppression needs of the community.  If at any time the call for service is upgraded then a four person crew will be dispatched. 
  5. What are the hours of operation?
    The low acuity rescue unit is staffed by a two person crew on each shift and will remain operational 24/7.
  6. How do I give feedback on my experiences with this program?
    Whenever our low acuity response team responds to an emergency, one of the team members will leave a card with information on how to complete a service survey.  You may also contact Fire Administration directly at 480-503-6300.
  7. How is a rescue vehicle different from an ambulance?
    While this vehicle looks very much like an ambulance, the crew and equipment on this vehicle are unique to what is known as a rescue vehicle.  Rescue vehicles are staffed with certified firefighters and are equipped with the gear to fight a fire, if needed. 
  8. Will this two person crew take away from the four person crew at the station?
    No, this 2-person unit will be in addition to the current four person crew at the station.
  9. Where will this unit be housed?
    LA-253 will be based out of Gilbert Fire Station #3 at 1011 E. Guadalupe Road.
  10. Where will they service?
    This unit will provide service within the Town of Gilbert. 
  11. Are you going to hire additional firefighters for this pilot?
    We are not hiring for this program at this time.  We are utilizing existing personnel for the initial one year pilot program.

Addition questions? Contact Gilbert Fire and Rescue at (480) 503-6300.