Division of Emergency Medical Service

Cleveland EMS Today

Cleveland EMS is staffed with, on average, 333 professionals who run 25 state-of-the-art advanced life support ambulances handling over 116,000+ emergency calls annually. The dispatch center is now run locally with certified Emergency Medical Dispatchers trained on a Computer Aided Dispatching system which allows for call prioritizing, pre-arrival instructions, and the tracking of ambulances and support vehicles.

The Division’s emergency medical personnel receive extensive education, training, and performance evaluations to ensure that Cleveland's citizens and visitors receive quality pre-hospital medical care in times of need.

The City of Cleveland’s Division of Emergency Medical Service, as a direct result of the City of Cleveland's enhanced budget and the passage of Issue 32, has increased the number of ambulances operating in the City to 25 during the day and 21 at night.  The additional units are part of the Mayor’s commitment to improving the quality of life in Cleveland neighborhoods by reducing emergency response times.

Cleveland EMS History

Cleveland's Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Division was one of the country's first. Prior to its formation, police cars were used for emergency hospital transportation. A federal grant enabled the City to purchase a dozen ambulances and train 120 Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT's).

EMS Medic 9 (based out of University Hospitals at that time) responded to its first call at 9:00 am on October 13th, 1975. Cleveland EMS handled over 80,000 emergency calls that year. At that time, a central dispatch center received nationwide 911 calls which were then routed to the appropriate cities.

Advances in medicine, technology, education and training allowed the division to make major improvements. Public awareness grew as people recognized that EMS services were increasing survival rates for the critically sick and injured.