Emergency Medical Services

The Des Moines Fire Department provides emergency medical services to anyone in the City of Des Moines who dials "911" to request an ambulance or assistance. The nearly 300 dedicated men and women who provide basic and advanced pre-hospital care do so with compassion, dignity, and professionalism.

The Des Moines Fire Department is the largest fire-based emergency medical service in the State of Iowa.

117 EMT-Basics & 18 EMT-Intermediates

142 EMT-Paramedics/Paramedic Specialists

7 paramedic staffed ambulances

2 paramedic engine companies

14 engine & truck companies staffed with EMT-B's and EMT-P's


The Des Moines Fire Department is also the busiest fire-based EMS system in the State of Iowa.

More than 14,000 patient contacts annually

24-hour paramedic level care


Our EMS delivery system consists of engine and truck companies staffed with cross trained firefighter/EMT’s who respond to medical emergencies with ambulances. This collaborative effort results in quick response times to provide the best care for those citizens who request our help.

The highly skilled professionals who deliver our services maintain certifications in basic life support, advanced cardiac life support, pre-hospital trauma life support, and pediatric education for the pre-hospital providers. An example of the Des Moines Fire Department’s commitment to providing excellent patient care is the requirement that all new fire recruits receive paramedic specialist training.

Dr. Chad Torstenson, M.D. serves as the medical director for the Des Moines Fire Department.

The emergency medical providers of the Des Moines Fire Department have a distinguished history of providing excellent patient care, and we continue to work diligently to meet the future emergency medical needs of our community.