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Dothan Periodonics

3:28 PM The 911 Systems Worked As Designed - Dothan Fire Mutual Aids County EMS As Requested

Rickey Stokes

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Posted by: RStokes
[email protected]
Date: Apr 03 2021 3:34 PM

HOUSTON COUNTY:    Columbia Rescue was dispatched at 1:32 PM to a medical emergency. During the transport conditions changed and Columbia Rescue requested advanced life support mutual aid assistance from Dothan Fire Department.

Without hesitation Dothan Fire Department responded and assisted Columbia with the advanced life support for the patient.

Cottonwood Rescue was dispatched to a medical emergency in Madrid at 1:44 PM. Based on the nature of the dispatched call, CPR in progress, mutual aid assistance was requested by Cottonwood Rescue which was dispatch Dothan Fire for advanced life care.

Without hesitation Dothan Fire Department responded and assisted Cottonwood with the advanced life support for the patient. Also Houston County Sheriff Deputies and Rehobeth EMS responded to assist.


About 15% of the emergency medical calls dispatched need the advanced life support. The cost for the advanced life support to be on duty full time is something out of the reach for the EMS in the county. Sometimes those serving have the license for the advanced, but most of the time it is basic life support. And the basic life support are trained and handle the majority of the calls dispatched.

Dothan Fire Department has 8 paramedic fire engines. People often times are critical of the big fire engines responding to all of the medical calls. When Dothan Fire Department began with Paramedics they had three paramedic trucks.

The three were stationed at (1) EASTSIDE - fire station on Ross Clark Circle near Webb Road, (2) CENTRAL - fire station in downtown on East Burdeshaw Street at Appletree, (3) WESTGATE - fire station on Westgate Parkway.

It was realized with the call volume of the Dothan Fire Department, year 2020 over 15,000 calls of which 76% were medical, some things had to change. With that change, and being able to keep a ISO rating, which is 1, the only way was to make fire engines paramedic fire engines. So that was what the leadership of Dothan Fire Department did.

DID YOU KNOW?  "Time is very important when an unconscious person is not breathing. Permanent brain damage begins after only four ( 4 ) minutes without oxygen, and death can occur as soon as four ( 4 ) to six ( 6 ) minutes later" ... as per Jan. 12, 2019

THANK YOU to Dothan Fire Chief Larry Williams for your willingness for Dothan Fire Department to assist all EMS in Houston County, those out of county coming into our medical facilities and those requests out of county Dothan Fire Department is called to assist.

AND AS ALWAYS ... HOUSTON COUNTY SHERIFF 911 AND DOTHAN POLICE 911 ... you men and women are the backbone of the entire emergency system. You are the connections between the public and emergency services ... you men and women make it happen. Often times you are not noticed, not recognized, not paid enough ... but when you do not answer the phone or radio ... THANK YOU ...

As this article is written, 3:11 PM, Dothan Fire off to another patient not breathing in the city limits of Dothan. From the time the call was entered until the time a Paramedic Fire Engine on the scene ... two minutes!!!

RICKEY STOKES gets excited when the system(s) work as they have today. Not proud families lives have changed because of emergencies, but excited that when they dialed three numbers, 9-1-1, they prompt service(s) needed were rolling and there. 

While I have done nothing to help with it, I have kicked "leaders", lost long time friends over issues when the service(s) were needed or were not as responsive as needed. I have been and presently am cussed, said I do not know what I am talking about, called a liar, made a outcast, all because of a sincere desire to make services better for the 911 call that has not happened yet.

TODAY, in Dothan and Houston County, those 911 calls that had not happened yet, well they happened. And none of the persons needing the services made appointments. We learned from the 911 calls that have happened how to improve for those 911 calls that had not happened yet. Always a work in progress.

Was not going to make this part of the story, but changed my mind ... Rickey Stokes served on the City of Dothan - Houston County Communications District Board for free. Was a team member that helped with the 911 Center being constructed. Went to the state meeting where the state 911 Board was being discussed as the Alabama Legislature was creating a state board, and made the motion the fellow team members supported that helped put the City of Dothan-Houston County Communications District in good financial condition. It was Tonya Shelley's financial management, the income increase was because I took the time to go and listen. Went on my personal car, paid for my gas, personally paid the entrance fee. When I returned made the motion which helped pave the way.

Former Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz, Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver and the board members along with the Advisory Board of which I was part of helped make some 911 system better. Then I was a part of making the board change and served as the second Chairman of the Board after the change when the new 911 Center was opened. All for free.

That is also a reason I get excited when the systems work as designed and will kick when the system does not work. And when I kick I am crude, rude, and socially unacceptable, lose friends and relationships. But emergency services is my passion. When my term ended I did not ask to go back on the board. And do not know if the appointing authority would have appointed me again. 

Sorry, the point is (1) thank you to those who responded (2) thank you to Dothan Fire for assisting when the advanced life support is needed (3) thank you to the men and women in the 911 Centers. 

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