Emergency Medical Services

Norfolk Fire-Rescue (NFR) is responsible for providing all emergency medical service within the City of Norfolk. This is accomplished with a medic (ambulance) fleet that consists of 12 advanced life support licensed units that are in service 24/7, with a 13th unit available in times of heavy call volume. NFR medic units are staffed with one firefighter / advanced life support provider that is certified in the State of Virginia at the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)-Paramedic or EMT-Intermediate level, and one firefighter / advanced life support provider that is certified at the EMT-Enhanced level.

Complementing this medical response is a fleet of fire apparatus (engines, ladders and heavy rescue companies) that are licensed and equipped with advanced life support equipment. These fire apparatus are staffed with cross-trained firefighter / advanced life support providers that perform pre-hospital medical care from their position on the fire apparatus.

Medical Providers

Norfolk's medical providers respond to all types of medical emergencies. Providers are trained to assess patients, diagnose cardiac rhythms, begin IVs, administer intravenous medications, and perform life saving medical treatments while using equipment and patient treatment techniques on the cutting edge of pre-hospital emergency medicine. NFR's physician operational medical director is closely involved with patient care issues and will often be found on the streets of Norfolk responding on calls. This caring approach to patient care results in the highest of standards in medical service delivery from our firefighter / advanced life support providers.

Fire Suppression

Norfolk Fire-Rescue firefighters are cross-trained fire and emergency medical service providers that (on average) work 10, 24 hour shifts per month. During an average 24 hour work shift, most firefighters will perform a 12 hour shift on a fire apparatus and a 12 hour shift on a medic unit. Firefighters assigned to the heavy rescue companies are trained in Heavy and Tactical Rescue as well as certified to the level of Hazardous Material Technician.


Fire suppression is accomplished with 14 engine companies, seven ladder companies, and two heavy rescue companies divided into three battalions. Each engine company is staffed with a captain, apparatus operator, and two firefighters. Each ladder company is staffed with a lieutenant, apparatus operator, and firefighter. The two heavy rescue companies are staffed with a captain or lieutenant, apparatus operator, one or two firefighters.


A single alarm response to a residence consists of three engine companies, one ladder company, one heavy rescue company, one battalion chief, and one medic unit. The medic crew may, if needed, be assigned to fire suppression duties at working fires. A second alarm receives two engines, one ladder, one battalion chief, and one additional medic unit. Subsequent alarms receive two engines and one ladder.