Preserving life has been part of the fire department's mission since inception. First aid training is documented as
early as the 1920's. Rescue squads followed, and in the mid-1970's, as the importance of pre-hospital care took
hold in Minnesota, the fire department began exploring EMS as a formal function.
Instead of waiting for an ambulance for eight minutes or more for defibrillation, CPR, breathing assistance, oxygen,
first aid, etc., firefighters were on the scene within four. For Duluthians, this improvement in service was
Today, approximately 65% of the department's calls are medicals. As such, firefighters review EMS often. They
practice and hone skills in the stations, in the field, and off-duty. Several firefighters are paramedics, and
teach patient care in-house. All personnel are required to be Emergency Medical Technicians and must pass a
practical exam administered by an approved agency every two years. With three hospitals in our community, a
professional amublance service, and our Duluth fire fighters, Duluth is a model copmmuity for EMS. Our skills
continue to increase with many of our fire fighters trained as paramedics.
As the department's future unfolds, firefighters will continue to look for better ways to provide patient care at a