New York City Fire Department Bureau of EMS

Last updated
Fire Department of New York Bureau of EMS (FDNY EMS)
EstablishedMarch 17, 1996
Strength4,414 (as of 12/31/16) [1]
Field divisions5
Daily average scheduled ALS tours227
Daily average scheduled BLS tours537
Haz-Tac Ambulances39
Rescue Medic Units11
Major Emergency Response Vehicles (MERV)4
Medical Evacuation Transportation Units (METU)3
Mobile Respiratory Treatment Unit (MRTU)3
WMD Unit2
Annual call volume (2016)1,706,324 incidents [1]
Number of Ambulances ALS/BLS450 [2] (2018)

The New York City Fire Department Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, also known as the FDNY EMS Command, or FDNY EMS, was established on March 17, 1996, following the merger of the New York City Fire Department and New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation's EMS division. FDNY EMS covers all five boroughs of New York City with Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Paramedic staffed ambulances as well as various specialized response vehicles.

Emergency medical services type of emergency service dedicated to providing out-of-hospital acute medical care and transport to definitive care

Emergency medical services (EMS), also known as ambulance services or paramedic services, are emergency services which treat illnesses and injuries that require an urgent medical response, providing out-of-hospital treatment and transport to definitive care. They may also be known as a first aid squad, FAST squad, emergency squad, rescue squad, ambulance squad, ambulance corps, life squad or by other initialisms such as EMAS or EMARS.

New York City Fire Department fire department in New York City

The New York City Fire Department, officially the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), is a department of the government of New York City that provides fire protection, technical rescue, primary response to biological, chemical, and radioactive hazards, and emergency medical services to the five boroughs of New York City.

Paramedic healthcare professional who works in emergency medical situations

A paramedic is a specialist healthcare professional who responds to emergency calls for medical help outside of a hospital. Paramedics mainly work as part of the emergency medical services (EMS), most often in ambulances. The scope of practice of a paramedic varies among countries, but generally includes autonomous decision making around the emergency care of patients.



Prior to March 17, 1996, municipal ambulances were operated by NYC EMS under the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, a public benefit corporation, which dispatched both its own ambulances and hospital ambulances. On March 17, 1996, NYC EMS merged with the New York City Fire Department, forming the Bureau of EMS. Employees of the newly formed bureau were considered FDNY employees and became eligible for transfer to firefighter within the department. As a result of the merger, the FDNY Bureau of EMS became the largest fire department-based EMS system in the country. [3]


FDNY EMS controls the operation of all ambulances in the New York City 911 System. 67% of the ambulances in the 911 system are FDNY EMS municipal units while the remaining 33% of 911 system coverage is provided by hospital-based units known as Voluntary Hospital Ambulances, which are staffed by paid hospital personnel who work in partnership with FDNY EMS. Private ambulance services and Volunteer Ambulance Corps also make their resources available to supplement the 911 system. FDNY EMS maintains and controls Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD), and telemetry (online medical control). FDNY EMS is also responsible for managing emergency medical care for all mass casualty incidents (MCI's) in New York City.

A Voluntary Ambulance is a hospital-based ambulance that serves the New York City 911 System.

Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) refers to a system that enhances services provided by Public Safety Answering Point (emergency) call takers, such as municipal emergency services dispatchers. It does so by allowing the call taker to quickly narrow down the caller's type of medical or trauma situation, so as to better dispatch emergency services, and provide quality instruction to the caller before help arrives.

Mass-casualty incident

A mass casualty incident is any incident in which emergency medical services resources, such as personnel and equipment, are overwhelmed by the number and severity of casualties. For example, an incident where a two-person crew is responding to a motor vehicle collision with three severely injured people could be considered a mass casualty incident. The general public more commonly recognizes events such as building collapses, train and bus collisions, plane crashes, earthquakes and other large-scale emergencies as mass casualty incidents. Events such as the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and the September 11 attacks in 2001 are well-publicized examples of mass casualty incidents. The most common types of MCIs are generally caused by terrorism, mass-transportation accidents, or natural disasters.



FDNY EMS divisions

The FDNY Bureau of EMS is broken down into five divisions. Each division has a Division Chief, up to 5 Deputy Chiefs, 5 Commanders, 5 Deputy Commanders, Captain, a Major Emergency Response Vehicle (MERV) except Brooklyn, METUs at Divisions 3, 4 and 5, MRTUs at Divisions 1, 2 and 3 and a Logistical Support Unit (LSU). Each division is then broken down further into stations which have Captains and Lieutenants (supervisors utilizing Conditions Cars), as well as ALS and BLS ambulances. Original NYC EMS Station numbers are in parentheses.

EMS Division 1 – Manhattan

StationNameSpecial units
4 (11)Lower East SideDivision 1 HQ, LSU1, MERV 1, MRTU 1, 01H, 04H, 01R, Times Square Gator Units (81P, 81Q)
7West SideHudson Yards Gator Unit (80P)
8 (13)Kips Bay07R, 08Z
10 (15)Yorkville10H, 12R
13Washington Heights
16 (18)Harlem16Z

EMS Division 2 – The Bronx

StationNameSpecial units
14 (21)South Bronx14Z
17High Bridge (Ogden Outpost)17H, 17Z
19University Heights
20 (23)Morris Park/JacobiMERV2, MRTU2, 20R, 15Z
26 (22)Morrisania (Tin House)
27Woodlawn27H, 27R
55MelroseDivision 2 HQ, LSU 2

EMS Division 3 – Brooklyn

StationNameSpecial units
31 (36)Cumberland31H
32Carroll Gardens48R, BA3 (Bariatric Unit)
35 (37)*Williamsburg35R
39 (34)Pennsylvania39R
58 (33)CanarsieDivision 3 HQ, MRTU3, METU3, LSU3, WMD1, 58Z
59Spring Creek44H
  • Until 2013, EMS Station 35 (Williamsburg Station) was one of two EMS stations on the grounds of Woodhull Med. & Mental Health Ctr. EMS Station 57 (Bedford-Stuyvesant Station) is also located on the grounds and was opened in 2006. EMS Station 35 was opened at the same time Woodhull opened in 1981 and was formerly NYC EMS Station 37 until shortly after the merger in 1996. On September 30, 2013, the new EMS Station 35 opened at 332 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.

EMS Division 4 – Queens

StationNameSpecial units
45 (46)Woodside45H, 46Z, 45R
46 (461)Elmhurst
47 (41)*Rockaway51Z, 47H
50 (45)HillcrestDivision 4 HQ, 50H, 52H
52Flushing outpostIn quarters with Haz Tac Battalion
53Fort Totten OutpostLSU 4, MERV 4, METU 4 and BA4 (Bariatric Unit). Fort Totten is also the site of the EMS academy.
54Springfield Gardens54R
  • Until 2004, EMS Station 47 (Rockaway Station) was located at 415 Beach 72 Street. Until shortly after the NYC EMS/FDNY merger, the station was designated as EMS Station 41. On November 3, 2004, the new EMS Station 47 opened at its current location at 303 Beach 49 Street, Arverne, New York. This particular station is the first one of two stations to be housed within the same facility as FDNY suppression resources, sharing the facility with Battalion 47, Engine Company 265, and Ladder Company 121.

EMS Division 5 – Staten Island and Brooklyn South

StationNameSpecial units
22 (52)WillowbrookDivision 5 HQ, LSU5, MERV5, METU5, 22H, 22Z, 22R
40Sunset Park40H
43 (31)Coney Island43H, 33Z, Coney Island Gator Units

EMS Special Operations, Haz Tac Battalion

StationNameSpecial Unit
HTBNHaz-Tac BattalionHT1, HT2 (Lieutenants), HTB (Captain), HTC (Captain), 5R (Division Chief), 5T (Deputy Chief)

Unit types

FDNY Haz-Tac Ambulance FDNY Haz-Tec.JPG
FDNY Haz-Tac Ambulance



Older FDNY Ambulance 492 IMG 5903 FDNY bus(4842913473).jpg
Older FDNY Ambulance 492
New FDNY Ford F-450 Ambulances FDNY F550.png
New FDNY Ford F-450 Ambulances

Immediately after the takeover of NYC EMS the FDNY changed the livery of the existing ambulances by changing the color of the striping on the vehicles to blue and red. The initials FDNY were placed on the vehicle with two letters on both sides of an existing Star of Life, with the word ambulance underneath. The driver's side and passenger side doors were also adorned with the new command patch. Subsequent vehicles were ordered in the traditional FDNY livery of white over red with a set of three stripes (yellow, white, yellow) running down the side. All other markings were kept in place.

Star of Life

The Star of Life is a blue, six-pointed star, outlined with a white border and usually featuring the Rod of Asclepius in the center. In Numbers 21:8 it says : " And the Lord said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live." The symbol was originally designed and governed by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Transportation, DOT). It has become a symbol of the emergency medical services in multiple countries.


The FDNY Bureau of EMS utilizes Type I Ambulances, which are based on the chassis-cabs of super duty pickup-trucks. This type was chosen over the Type II ambulance that are based on a passenger/cargo van chassis and the Type III which are based on chassis-cabs of light duty vans due to the ability to fully customize the passenger compartment. Type I ambulances also offer a higher load-capacity and additional compartment space when compared to the two other types. These ambulances are also more resilient to the stresses placed on them in a high volume EMS system in an inner city environment.

In 2011, the FDNY began ordering ambulances from Wheeled Coach which are based on a Dodge Ram 4500 Crew Cab Chassis. The shift to a four-door ambulance was due to the tremendous call volume and harsh 24/7 cycle that the FDNY operates in. Furthermore, the additional cab space provided for crew comfort, additional storage, and the opportunity to have more than two people riding in the forward-facing configuration thus increasing safety if a third crew member is assigned. The department discontinued orders due to issues with the Dodge chassis.

In 2014, the FDNY began ordering a custom Ford F-450 Super Cab/Wheeled Coach Type I ambulance.

In 2016, the FDNY began ordering a new version of the F-450/Wheeled Coach ambulances which are labeled "FDNY Green". These use a technology to reduce harmful emissions caused by the necessary idling of ambulances.

In 2016, FDNY EMS ordered and received new International Terra-Star/Wheeled Coach Medium Duty Ambulances for use as "Rescue Medic" vehicles.

In 2017, FDNY EMS began using Ford F-550 Super Duty/Wheeled Coach Type I ambulances.

See also

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  2. "Fleet Report - Mayor's Office of Operations". Retrieved 2019-07-04.
  3. "5 facts about the FDNY as it marks 150th anniversary". Retrieved 2017-11-24.
  4. "FDNY Car Assignments". Retrieved 2017-11-24.