Born of necessity and forged in the field, The Colony Fire Department’s Paramedic-Only Program has proved to be a trendsetting, transformative initiative.
The program has ultimately improved not only the department’s quality of pre-hospital medical care but also positioned its firefighters for further success on the fire ground. Those successes were formally recognized on May 31 during the Texas Health Resources-Plano quarterly EMS luncheon when The Colony Fire Department was presented the hospital’s award for EMS Provider of the Year.
The Colony Fire Chief Scott Thompson shared the award with The Colony City Council during its regular meeting on June 21. He thanked both the Council and City Manager Troy Powell for their support.
“Several years ago we came to Troy with a crazy idea – to implement a single-role paramedic program (in the fire department), which has never been done in the state,” Thompson said. “With his support and the support of the Council, we did it. … I still get told that we’re crazy for doing it but this award validates the program.”
Thompson added that he’s been working in the fire services for 40 years, alongside some progressive fire departments, “but I’ve never seen paramedics perform like ours do,” he said.
The program’s roots date back to 2017, when the department was preparing to hire 30 new firefighter/paramedics to staff the city’s two new firehouses (Nos. 4 and 5) at a time when qualified applicants were a hot commodity. The tasks at hand were not only to hire a lot of new blood but also to ensure the department’s level of service did not decrease as a result.
Five years later, not only has the quality of applicants remained at a high level, TCFD has seen a significant improvement in the quality of overall care and favorable outcomes. It turns out, adding top-tier paramedics who are positioned to thrive and feed their passion, results in the very best pre-hospital care. Both single-role paramedics and firefighters can be successful and thrive in their respective industries while operating under the same umbrella.