Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week, May 21-27, acknowledges that local first responders, including Cedar Rapids firefighters and police officers, are prepared emergency medical providers who have made a 24/7 commitment to the citizens and visitors in the Cedar Rapids community which make up their response area.
An important part of public safety’s ability to provide care for victims of sudden illness or traumatic injury is the partnership with Area Ambulance Service, which provides care and transportation of patients. As part of tiered response system, the Cedar Rapids Fire Department, Cedar Rapids Police Department, and Area Ambulance Service are EMS professionals committed to serving the community.
The fire department provided an auction item to the March of Dimes in which the winning bidder received a dinner at the Central Fire Station prepared by firefighters (the cost of food and supplies is paid out of the winning bid). The winning bidder wanted to pay tribute to ambulance personnel in the community, so firefighters will be preparing a barbeque for their employees from 5:30-7:30 p.m. May 23.
Cedar Rapids police officers respond to more than 3,600 medical emergencies per year and all police patrol vehicles are equipped with an automated defibrillator.
Cedar Rapids firefighters responded to 6,141 EMS calls in 2016, which continues an annual increase in the number of responses to emergency medical calls. The fire department responded to 5,905 EMS calls in 2015 and 5,430 EMS calls in 2014. All firefighters are trained to at least the Emergency Medical Technician level and approximately one-third of the firefighters are trained to the paramedic level.