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University of Utah Health and Salt Lake City Fire Department Partner to Train the Next Generation of Physicians


June 24, 2021 – University of Utah Health and the Salt Lake City Fire Department (SLCFD) have partnered to train the next generation of physicians by initiating a physician scene response program, the first of its kind in the state.

U of U Health emergency physicians have served as medical directors with SLCFD for many years, providing medical oversight and training to prehospital providers in the field of emergency medical services (EMS). Now the partnership has expanded to the actual emergency scene. Physician oversight will be broadened by responding along with SLCFD providers to certain 911 calls where they can provide assistance during emergency situations. “The goal of the program is to maintain and improve the quality of EMS care and train physicians who want to go on after residency and work in their communities,” says Scott Youngquist, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine and the EMS medical director for SLCFD.

By being on scene, EMS physicians are immediately available for consultation with providers when needed and gain insight into the unique challenges faced by providers who treat patients outside of hospital or clinic settings. This also provides critical training for the EMS fellowship program at the University of Utah, which specifically trains physicians to become EMS medical directors. This new facet of the relationship allows for greater collaboration between EMS providers and EMS medical directors while also providing the opportunity for U of U Health EMS fellows to participate in and better understand emergency care in the field.

“Enhancing quality of care from start to finish can’t happen only with physicians creating protocols or sitting behind computers reviewing cases retrospectively,” says Hill Stoecklein, MD, emergency physician and U of U’s EMS fellowship director. “We are now filling in the middle ground in the continuum by bringing quality improvement to the scene, at the time of patient care, to further improve the already excellent care that SLCFD provides to the community.”

Thanks to the dedicated partnership between U of U Health and SLCFD, this enhanced quality of EMS care will benefit the Salt Lake City region and beyond.