Rescue Division History
Tampa Fire Rescue received its first ALS (Advance Life Support) License in August of 1972. At that time five ALS transport units were placed in service. The fleet has increased with the Fourteenth ALS unit being placed into service in 2006 at fire station #9 in West Tampa. There are also 2 paramedics assigned to Tampa International Airport they respond in a Non-Transport unit.
Variable Work Week Personnel (48 Hours)
Each of the 14 ALS transport units (and 1 non-transport unit assigned to TIA) is assigned two paramedics; one Lieutenant supervisor and one paramedic driver. The extra nine paramedics assigned per shift provide coverage for Kelly Days", sick days, scheduled vacation, etc.
Tampa Fire Rescue provides all ALS transports within the city limits of Tampa. This includes all ALS inter-facility (hospital to hospital or hospital to home) transports. The Tampa Fire Dispatch Center instituted the Emergency Medical Dispatch System on October the first 1995. Through the use of pre-established algorithms the dispatcher determines the type of Medical Emergency, level of call (Advanced Life Support or Basic Life Support), what equipment to dispatch, and pre-arrival instructions as necessary. We also have a transport unit dedicated to critical care Interfacility transports.
City Council approved an ordinance allowing individual billing for services by Tampa Fire Department in1987. As a result, in 2006 we recovered 3.3 million dollars which was used to cover expenses for medical supplies and medical equipment repairs. The annual operating budget for the Rescue Division is 9.5 million dollars.