About Alex EMS

The Alexandria Fire Department uses a combination of civilian medics and sworn firefighters to deliver emergency medical services in the City. Civilian medics staff ambulances and respond to all EMS calls, providing advanced life support (ALS) on the scene and during transport to the hospital. Firefighters staff fire engines and respond to EMS calls as first responders, initiating basic life support (BLS) care and assisting medics on the scene.

Alexandria’s EMS division has distinguished itself as a unique system that is able to employ advanced medical protocols to deliver cutting-edge emergency medical care—primarily owing to the fact that its civilian medics are able to specialize in prehospital emergency medicine.

The current EMS delivery model was established in 1976, after doctors at Alexandria Hospital recognized the need for a unit within the Alexandria Fire Department consisting of professionally trained medical specialists, rather than “cross-trained” firefighters.[i] In the decades since, Alexandria’s EMS division has distinguished itself as a unique system that is able to employ advanced medical protocols to deliver cutting-edge emergency medical care—primarily owing to the fact that its medics are able to specialize in prehospital emergency medicine.

Each year, Alexandria’s civilian medics respond to over 10,000 EMS calls (approximately 70% of all calls for fire department service).

Alexandria’s civilian medics are highly-trained professionals who dedicate themselves exclusively to providing high-quality, compassionate emergency medical care and transport to Alexandria residents. Each year, they respond to over 10,000 EMS calls (approximately 70% of all calls for fire department service).[ii] Alexandria medics have been credited with saving thousands of lives, including the life of Alexandria police officer Peter Laboy in February 2013.[iii]

[i] EMS: 30 Years – Thousands of Lives (2006, Dec. 5). Alexandria Gazette Packet. Retrieved from http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/2006/dec/05/ems-30-years-thousands-of-lives/

[ii] Data for 2014 reported to Alexandria EMS Council.

[iii] Carey, J. (2014, Feb. 22). Va. Police Officer Shot in Head Describes Difficult Recovery. NBC Washington. Retrieved from http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Peter-Laboy-One-Year-Later-246593231.html

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