EMS Training
The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) requires all EMT-Bs to attend a minimum of 24 hours of approved Continuing Education during their 3-year certification period to maintain certification. Every year EMS Training delivers at least 8 hours of Continuing Education to the department’s 1,100 firefighter/EMTs to meet this requirement. In 2005 we delivered 135 sessions.


The PA DOH requires all paramedics to attend at least 18 hours of approved Continuing Education every year. EMS Training offered four Fire Service Paramedic (FSP) Continuing Education sessions in 2005 to ensure PFD FSPs have an opportunity to meet this requirement. In total, 191 FSPs attended the two spring sessions and 156 FSPs attended two autumn sessions.


EMS Training recertifies all 2,300 firefighters in CPR biannually. The recertification program is 3-hours long and delivered in 20 sessions each month during the recertification period. In 2005 ,we recertified 1104 firefighters.


EMS Training delivers the National Standard Curriculum for EMT-Basic to fire cadets. In January of 2005, 53 Fire Cadets of the 179th Fire Cadet class and 59 Fire Cadets of the 180th Fire Cadet class successfully passed the PA DOH EMT certification exam.


FSP cadets attend a 7 week cadet program. EMS Training evaluates pre-hospital practice competencies, addresses any identified weakness, and educates the cadets in the application of PFD advanced life support treatment protocols to their practice. In July of 2005, nine FSP Cadets graduated from the seven week FSP Cadet Program.


EMS Training scheduled the following: 286 emergency medicine physicians and nurses for Ride-Along in our medic units, approximately 131 outside Con Ed opportunities, and 34 paramedic students to ride with PFD Preceptors.


EMS Training has achieved a number of significant milestones. These accomplishments include:

  • (1) Participated in two Federal Emergency Training Network (FETN) training videos
  • (2) Delivered two CPR Instructor classes
  • (3) Initiated a new firefighter/EMT Con Ed program
  • (4) Instituted a new methodology for delivering the EMT-B curriculum to fire cadets
  • (5) Delivered our first EMT Instructor update
  • (6) Adopted a more active “hands on” approach to FSP Con Ed
  • (7) Successfully completed the PA DOH Basic Life Support reaccredidation process
  • (8) Participating in the new partnership with the School District of Philadelphia firefighter/EMT program
  • (9) Three (3) EMS Training staff members became Office of Domestic Preparedness WMD Radiological/Nuclear Awareness trainers
  • (10) Four (4) EMS Training staff members were certified by VFIS as Emergency Vehicle Driver Training instructors
  • (11) Two (2) EMS Training staff members attended an OSHA/Bloodborne Pathogen and TB, Train-the-Trainer course.
  • (12) One (1) EMS Training staff member attended the quarterly Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Counsel (PEHSC) EMS Education Task Force meetings.


Sole 9-1-1 Provider
The Philadelphia Fire Department is the sole 9-1-1 provider of fire and pre-hospital emergency medical services.  Fire Department Paramedics respond to over 200,000 calls for medical assistance each year, in addition to fires, Hazardous Materials incidents, Industrial Accidents, and special details.


Service Reach
Philadelphia is the second largest City on the East Coast and ranks fifth in the nation, with a daytime population in excess of 2 million and a metropolitan population of 5.8 million.  The City encompasses an area of 135 square miles, which includes an international airport that is a base for 26 carriers; Amtrak’s 30th Street Station, a major East Coast Hub; and Fairmount Park, the largest inter-city park in the world.


Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers is responsible for the Philadelphia Fire Department’s day-to-day operations.  Click here to view the EMS organizational chart. It shows the current PFD EMS command structure.


The Philadelphia Fire Department utilizes 59 Engine Companies and 29 Ladder Companies that are staffed with at least one Emergency Medical Technician-Basic for first response to an emergency.   All First Responder Companies are equipped with Automated External Defibrillation devices, oxygen, and other basic life support equipment.  The ALS units and First Responder Companies operate together to optimize the care to our citizens that are sick or injured.


Emergency Medical Services operates 40 ALS ambulances, each staffed with two Paramedics.  The Fire Department has 28  Units staffed 24 hours a day, and 12 peak hour Units staffed 12 hours a day, seven days a week.  In 2004, these Medic Units made more than 237,000 responses.  Medic 22 is the busiest ALS unit in the country for the past several years.  They responded to 9,456 incidents in 2004.  Each member of these Units exemplifies the statement of “Dedication and Service”.




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