New York City Fire Department Bureau of EMS

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Fire Department of New York Bureau of EMS (FDNY EMS)
Established March 17, 1996
Staffing Career
Strength 3,800 (as of 12/31/15) [1]
Field divisions 5
Daily average scheduled ALS tours 212
Daily average scheduled BLS tours 412
Haz-Tac Ambulances 39
Rescue Medic Units 11
Major Emergency Response Vehicles (MERV) 5
Mobile Respiratory Treatment Unit 3
WMD Unit 2
Annual call volume (2013) 1,309,811 incidents [2]

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 EMT-B and Paramedic staffed ambulances.


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 promotion 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. Under the NYC HHC, EMS members were classified as "uniformed service". When FDNY took over in 1996, they demoted the department to "civil service", in order to pay EMS workers less and give them less benefits, and made employees surrender the badges worn on their uniform shirts. Under the HHC, EMS workers had an option of going to school for a higher medical profession, such as nursing, for free, while receiving their normal salary. After the completion of schooling, there was a forgivable loan; if the employee completed three years of service to HHC in their new position (RN, PA, etc.), they would not be responsible for the costs. The FDNY did away with that program in 1996 in an effort to push people to become firefighters rather than higher medical professionals.[citation needed]


FDNY EMS is responsible for the operation of all ambulances deployed in the New York City "911 System". 67% of the units in the 911 system are FDNY EMS ambulance crews while the remaining 33% of the 911 units are hospital-based ambulance crews known as Voluntary hospitals/Voluntary ambulances, which should not be confused with neighborhood Volunteer Ambulance Corps/Volunteers who operate independently as well as within the 911 system via a mutual aid program. 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) in New York City.



  • Chief of the Bureau of EMS – Chief James Booth
  • Assistant Chief of EMS – Assistant Chief Michael Fitton
  • Chief of EMS Communications – Deputy Assistant Chief Anthony Napoli
  • Division Chiefs:
    • EMS Division 1 – Division Chief Nancy Gilligan
    • EMS Division 2 – Division Chief Alvin Suriel
    • EMS Division 3 – Division Chief Steven Morelli
    • EMS Division 4 – Division Chief Christine Mazzola
    • EMS Division 5 – Division Chief Roberto Colon
    • EMS Division of Training – Deputy Assistant Chief Lillian Bonsignore
    • Office of Recruitment – Deputy Assistant Chief Roger Ahee
    • Bureau of Health Services – Division Chief Jay Swithers
    • FDNY Counterterrorism Center –Division Chief Jonathan Pistilli
    • EMS Operations – Deputy Assistant Chief Janice Olszweski, Division Chief Sophia Kwok, Deputy Chief Grace Cacciola
    • EMS Haz Tac Battalion (Special Operations)- Deputy Chief Paul Miano


FDNY EMS divisions[edit]

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

EMS Division 1 – Manhattan[edit]

Station Name Special units
4 (11) Lower East Side Division 1 HQ, LSU1, MERV1, MRTU1, 01H, 04H, 01R
7 West Side
8 (13) Kips Bay 07R, 08Z
10 (15) Yorkville 10H, 12R
13 Washington Heights
16 (18) Harlem 16Z

EMS Division 2 – The Bronx[edit]

Station Name Special units
14 (21) South Bronx 14Z
15 Williamsbridge
17 High Bridge (Ogden Outpost) 17H, 17Z
18 Bathgate 18H
19 University Heights
20 (23) Morris Park/Jacobi LSU2, MERV2, MRTU, 20R, 15Z
26 (22) Morrisania (Tin House)
27 Woodlawn 27H, 27R
55 Melrose Division 2 HQ
3 Soundview

EMS Division 3 – Brooklyn[edit]

Station Name Special units
31 (36) Cumberland 31H
32 Carroll Gardens 48R
35 (37)* Williamsburg 35R
38 Wingate 38H
39 (34) Pennsylvania 39R
44 Brownsville
57 Bedford–Stuyvesant 37H
58 (33) Canarsie Div 3 HQ, MRTU3, METU3, LSU3, WMD1, 58Z
59 Spring Creek 44H
  • 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[edit]

Station Name Special units
45 (46) Woodside 45H, 46Z, 45R
46 (461) Elmhurst
47 (41)* Rockaway 51Z, 47H
49 Astoria 49H
50 (45) Hillcrest Division 4 HQ, 50H, 52H
52 Flushing outpost In quarters with Haz Tac Battalion
53 Fort Totten Outpost MERV 4, METU 4, LSU 4, BA4 (Bariatric Unit). Fort Totten is also the site of the EMS academy.
54 Springfield Gardens 54R
  • 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[edit]

Station Name Special units
22 (52) Willowbrook LSU5, MERV5, METU5, 22H, 22Z, 22R
23 Rossville 23H
40 Sunset Park
43 (31) Coney Island 43H, 33Z

EMS Special Operations, Haz Tac Battalion[edit]

Station Name Special Unit
HTBN Haz-Tac Battalion HT1, HT2 (Lieutenants), HTB (Captain), 5J (Deputy Chief)

Unit types[edit]

FDNY Haz-Tac Ambulance
  • Ambulance – The New York City Fire Department staffs EMT-Basic and Paramedic Ambulances to provide emergency medical services to the city of New York. These are commonly referred to by the slang term "bus".
  • Haz-Tac Ambulance – 39 EMS units, known as Hazardous Material Tactical Units (Haz-Tac Ambulances), are trained to the Haz Mat Technician level allowing them to provide emergency medical care and decontamination in a hazardous environment.
  • Rescue Medic – An ALS, or Paramedic ambulance that are trained to the Haz Mat Technician level and also trained as Rescue Technicians specializing in high angle rescue, trench rescue, crush medicine etc. There are 11 units citywide.
  • EMS Conditions Car – A vehicle that is assigned to an Emergency Medical Service Lieutenant or Captain, generally assigned one per station, the supervisor oversees the activities of the ambulance crews in their jurisdiction.
  • EMS MERV – The MERV (Major Emergency Response Vehicle) is assigned to all major medical emergencies within its borough, it is capable of permitting several patients to be treated in one place. This unit seats 14 and has a stretcher. ALS and BLS functions may be performed on this unit, anything from minor injuries to a cardiac arrest. There is one MERV assigned to Division 1,2,4 and 5. Brooklyn no longer has a MERV.
  • EMS METU - The METU (Medical Evacuation Transportation Unit) is used for mass casualty incidents (MCIs) and can hold for transport 24 non-ambulatory patients, 32 seated patients, and, or 10 wheel chair bound patients in the walkway for transport to area hospitals. One is located in EMS Divisions 3, 4 & 5. All three were purchased with Homeland Security funds.
  • EMS MRTU - The MRTU (Mobile Respiratory Treatment Unit) is also used for mass casualty incidents (MCIs) and can hold for transport 32 ambulatory, seated patients for transport to area hospitals. One is located in each EMS Divisions 1, 2 & 3. These units are able to treat patients for smoke inhalation and other respiratory issues with (8) M size oxygen tanks as well as albuterol and combivent. All three were purchased with Homeland Security funds.
  • EMS LSU – The LSU (Logistical Support Unit) is a vehicle assigned to all medical emergencies that have multiple patients, it carries a surplus of certain medical supplies used at MCI's. This unit also carries two generators, lights, a command tent and an inflatable 20'x20' tent as well as oxygen and some medications.
  • Haz Tac Officer – The Haz Tac Officer tactically patrols NYC concentrating on areas of concern. There are 2 of these units who respond in "hammer trucks" who can function as EMS Condition Officers when needed but their primary responsibility is to act as the medical component to the FDNY Special Operations Command along with Haz Tac and Rescue Ambulances. All Officers are certified Rescue Paramedics.
  • EMS Response Physician – The EMS Response Physician (REMSCO) cerified, often called the Five Mary Car due the radio designation Car 5M[4], is staffed by a Fire Department EMS Medical Director who is an Emergency Physician with specialized training in Hazardous Material, Technical Rescue, and other specialized prehospital skills such as on-scene limb amputations. The Response Physician responds to major Mass Casualty Incidents or as part of the Rescue Medical Task Force for patients requiring technical rescue or prolonged extrication.



FDNY Ambulance 492
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.


The FDNY Bureau of EMS utilizes Type I Ambulances, which are based on the chassis-cabs of light 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. 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 the FDNY Bureau of EMS ordered and received new International Terra-Star/Wheeled Coach Medium Duty Ambulances for use as "Rescue Medic" vehicles.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "2013 Citywide Performance Indicators" (PDF). FDNY. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^