Emergency Medical Services

The Des Moines Fire Department provides emergency medical services to anybody in the City of Des Moines who dials "911" to request an ambulance or physical assistance. The Des Moines Fire Department is both the largest and busiest fire-based emergency medical service in the state of Iowa. They provide basic and advanced pre-hospital care work to over 25,000 patients annually.   Co-dispatching EMT and Paramedic-staffed fire trucks with ambulances on medical emergencies allows the Department to rapidly provide large amounts of expertise and physical assistance at times of crisis.

The emergency medical providers of the Des Moines Fire Department have a distinguished history of providing excellent patient care, and we continue to work diligently to meet the future emergency medical needs of our community.


  • Nearly 300 dedicated men and women in the EMS Department
    • 100+ Emergency Medical Technician's (EMT's)
    • Nearly 200 Paramedics
    • The EMS team is under the medical direction of Dr. Dustin Derflinger, D.O. 

Equipment:EMS Vehicle - Copy

  • 9 Paramedic-staffed ambulances
  • 4 Paramedic-staffed engine companies
  • 14 EMT-and Paramedic-staffed engine and truck companies


  • Basic life support
  • Advanced cardiac life support
  • Monthly and semi-annual training on a broad spectrum of topics, such as mass casualty incident response, as well as training on new equipment, procedures, and medications adopted by the department
All firefighters hired since 2002 have been required to obtain Paramedic certifications as a condition of employment.