EMS History


In September 2017, A joint venture with the EMS Division and Fire Department.  Squad 11 was placed in service out of the Bernard Fire Station.  This unit is a class 5 non-transport paramedic unit and is staffed with an EMS Lieutenant and Firefighter to reduce response times and begin medical assistance on scene prior to rescue arriving.  Also provide a fire suppression extra manpower at fire scenes when needed.

In July 2017, A 5th rescue was added at the Candieas Station running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In 2016, A pilot program was started to facilitate a 5th rescue at the Candeias Fire Station.  The Pilot ran from December of 2016 to July of 2017 from the hours of 7 am to 7 pm.

In 2015, The EMS Division began a EMS Training Division working in conjunction with our QA/QI EMS Captain.  This newly formed division is responsible for the training of fire fighter first responders to training paramedics on new protocols.  In addition, they have begun an outreach CPR training programs to the citizens and commercial residence of the city.

In July 2004, a fourth ambulance was brought into service. The city’s four ambulances are staffed with paramedics with Advanced Life Support training.


The ALS system, which commenced operation on February 6, 1993, has greatly enhanced medical care in the field by bringing many of the components of the emergency room directly to the patient on the field. Fall River has become one of the only major fire departments in Southeastern Massachusetts to have an ALS service delivered to the public through its fire department.

In 1992, Fire Chief Edward J. Dawson, in cooperation with local hospitals, initiated measures to upgrade the service in order to properly address the continually increasing medical demands of the city by incorporating an Advanced Life Support (ALS) component to the present system. A third ambulance was also added to meet the needs of the city’s residents.

On July 1, 1975, the first Division of Emergency Medical Services was established in the Fire Department. This was accomplished through the efforts of then-Fire Chief Louis A. Shea, Jr. A month later, the Department purchased two modular ambulances and hired civilian EMTs to work with Hussey Hospital personnel and firefighters, enabling the Fire Department to put two front line ambulances in service. The total number of calls averaged around 1,600 at this time.

In 1974, the Hussey Hospital transferred its ambulance service and four drivers to the Fall River Fire Department. These four drivers were placed with certified  Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and the state’s first licensed EMS system began.