The Cedar Rapids Fire Department has upgraded the emergency medical response capabilities of two fire stations in the community, located at 1424 B Avenue NE (Fire Station 3) and 2416 Mount Vernon Road SE (Fire Station 6), so that all ten fire stations in the community now have advanced life support equipment and personnel. The advanced life support capabilities include initiation of intravenous lines, medication administration, advanced airway placement, and heart rhythm interpretation and treatment such as cardio version. All Cedar Rapids firefighters are Emergency Medical Technicians and nearly one-third have Paramedic level training. The Fire Department schedules at least one paramedic per shift at each of the ten fire stations.
In 2011, the Fire Department needed to provide advanced life support in 474 out of 5,376 emergency medical calls. This indicates that 8.8 percent of all medical calls required advanced life support to improve patient care and chance of survival when there is a sudden illness or traumatic injury.
The Fire Department also purchased video laryngoscopes for all front-line emergency apparatus to help firefighters visually locate the trachea for endotracheal tube placement for an unconscious victim needing a patent airway.
The Fire Department started training all firefighters as Emergency Medical Technicians on September 15, 1987. All firefighters were certified as EMTs by December 31, 1987. Automatic defibrillators were put into service on February 2, 1988. The fire stations at 100 Wiley Boulevard SW (Fire Station and 415 Broderick Drive NE (Fire Station 9) were the first two fire stations to become provisional paramedic level stations on January 1, 2000. The response districts of these two fire stations were furthest from local hospitals.
The Fire Department provides emergency medical care as part of tiered response with Area Ambulance Service.