The manner in which our organization historically responded to EMS incidents was born out of necessity. Under that model crews of three to four personnel responded from their assigned station on engine company apparatus in order to provide a quick travel time to the scene of the emergency, while maintaining the ability to respond to subsequently received calls regardless of nature of the incident. The increasing number of simultaneously occurring calls for service required personnel to frequently clear the scene of one incident and immediately respond to another. Responding to all incidents in fire apparatus enabled personnel to quickly shift gears from an EMS to fire response without having to return to the station to exchange vehicles, which would result in an unacceptable lag in response times.
Following an exhaustive analysis of incident response data trends over a several year period, the Grand Chute Fire Department launched an Alternate Response Vehicle Program in Late 2016. Under this program the Alternate Response Vehicle (ARV) would be staffed with two personnel during identified "peak demand" hours. While utilizing the ARV during these daytime hours does not completely eliminate fire apparatus responses to EMS incidents, it is instrumental in reducing them. This reduction assists in decreasing maintenance costs associated with wear sustained by fire apparatus subject to high-volume EMS response. Additionally, fire apparatus and personnel remain available to respond to more resource-rich fire and rescue related incidents, as well as any subsequent calls received while the ARV is committed. This model allows our system to absorb the demand generated by a multi-unit incident, or two simultaneous single-unit incidents, thus maintaining the ability to provide timely response coverage for any additional calls.