Bureau of Emergency Medical Services

Information about the City's ambulance service.

The mission of the St. Louis Fire Department's EMS Bureau is to provide the citizens and visitors of the City of St. Louis with the highest level of quality pre-hospital emergency care possible.

The St. Louis Fire Department has developed an EMS system which integrates three main components for the delivery of emergency medical care. First, EMS dispatchers screen calls objectively using a nationally standardized method known as the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS). In many cases, the EMS Dispatcher will provide the caller with "pre-arrival instructions," depending upon the medical emergency. The EMS Communications Center is accredited under the MPDS system and was the ninth center in the world to achieve such accreditation.

The second component of the St. Louis Fire Department's EMS system is first response engine companies (fire suppression apparatus). Each apparatus in the fire department is equipped with basic life support equipment, including automatic external defibrillators (AEDs). All firefighters in the St. Louis Fire Department are medically certified or licensed as First Responders, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), or Paramedics. An engine company is dispatched on all life-threatening calls and will arrive generally in less than four minutes. At the same time an engine company has been dispatched, the closest advanced life support ambulance with paramedics is also dispatched. This is the third component of the St. Louis Fire Department's EMS system.  This concept creates a "Chain of Survival" for a person suffering from a life-threatening injury or illness.

Since the merger of EMS into the fire department in April 1997, tremendous advances in medical equipment, medical protocols and procedures, hiring, quality improvement, training, technology, and vehicles have propelled the St. Louis Fire Department to a respected status among fire-based EMS systems nationwide.


EMS Manager -- Deputy Fire Chief Steve Kotraba

EMS Chief - Valerie Porter

Contact Information


Phone: (314) 645-9160

24 hrs.

2634 Hampton
St. Louis, Missouri 63139

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