Emergency Medical Services

Mission Statement:  To provide effective medical care and health management through quality emergency services to the citizens and visitors of the Memphis area.

Vision Statement:
We will be nationally recognized for excellent pre-hospital medical care with fully integrated EMS and Fire Services delivery.

The Memphis Fire Department's Emergency Medical Service system is one of the first-based EMS systems in the United States beginning in 1966 with a fleet of eight emergency ambulances that handled approximately 8,000 runs during its first year of service. Today, the Memphis Fire Department is an all advanced life support (ALS) system operating 36 ALS ambulances, 56 ALS engines, and 21 BLS ladder truck companies. There are also 5 EMS lieutenants and one EMS Battalion Chief on each shift. The Memphis Fire Department has a total of 98 pieces of fire apparatus that are ALS capable with firefighter/paramedics available for emergency calls each day.

In 2013, the Memphis Fire Department responded on 111,680 EMS runs and transported 78,097 patients. There are approximately 500 firefighter/paramedics and 1,100 firefighter/EMTs in the Memphis Fire Department. The balance of firefighters are certified first responders. The Memphis Fire Department is the largest EMS system in the state of Tennessee and the mid-south.

The Memphis Fire Department operates one of the most progressive EMS systems in the United States utilizing some of the latest treatment protocols and procedures including induced hypothermia and mechanical CPR devices for cardiac arrest patients, CPAP for congestive heart failure patients, and intraosseous infusion for intravenous fluid access. The Memphis Fire Department also has an aggressive STEMI (ST Elevated Myocardial Infarction) program with an average time of 65 minutes from first-paramedic-contact-to-balloon in a hospital cardiac cath lab.

The EMS system not only encompasses a field operation component, but an extensive EMS education program and quality improvement program. The Memphis Fire Department is the only non-university or college in the State of Tennessee authorized to educate paramedics. In addition, the Memphis Fire Department also conducts Emergency Medical Technician classes and numerous continuing education programs, many of which are American Heart Association classes.

In 2012, the Tennessee Ambulance Service Association awarded the Memphis Fire Department Tennessee’s EMS Service of the Year. In 2014, Memphis Fire EMS was featured on the cover of JEMS (Journal of Emergency Medical Services) magazine.

EMS Officers:
Division Chief Joseph Rike
Battalion Chief Andrew Hart - EMS Administration
Battalion Chief Kevin Burns - EMS Training
Battalion Chief Brad Rust - A Shift
Battalion Chief Daniel Wakefield - B Shift
Battalion Chief Pam Kiestler - C Shift

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