The Philadelphia Fire Department (PFD)
provides firefighting and Emergency Medical Services
(EMS) within the City of Philadelphia
One of the oldest fire departments in the United States
, the Philadelphia Fire Department began as the volunteer Union Fire Company
, established on December 7, 1736. After 134 years, the City Council decided the growing city needed a professional fire department, and passed a December 1870 ordinance to create one.
The PFD, like many large city fire departments throughout the county, also provides EMS to the city. It currently has one of the busiest EMS Divisions within a fire department in the United States
, handling 221,133 emergency medical responses in 2009 . One PFD Advanced Life Support
(ALS) Unit, Medic 2, had the most yearly responses in the country in 2006, making 9,368 calls. However, Medic 39 was technically busier, having responded to 5,198 calls in 2006 while only being in service 12 hours a day.Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers reports that during 2009, the Philadelphia Fire Department responded to 268,996 emergency incidents (a 1.1% increase). Of these incidents, 221,133 were emergency medical incidents (1.9% increase), and 47,863 were for fire and other 911 emergency public safety service requests (2.5% decrease) . On average, the department, save the EMS Division, responds to approximately 175,000 emergency calls annually.