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May 16, 2017   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

What Happens When You Call 911 for Emergency Medical Services?

Call 911, and odds are that a piece of diesel-powered equipment will respond. Over 98 percent of first responder vehicles, including fire trucks, ambulances, and other rescue equipment, are powered by diesel.

The emergency services system “911” fields thousands of calls for service each day across the country, including requests for fire and rescue and medical emergencies. Those calls for help set in motion a highly-orchestrated system that gets first responders and all their life-saving gear and equipment to the scenes as reliably and rapidly as possible.

Emergency vehicles – like rescue trucks, ambulances, marine response boats and off-road rescue vehicles - are familiar sights. Powering a large percentage of these units is a diesel engine. Diesel is the technology of choice for heavy-duty firetrucks, ambulances and other rescue vehicles, because of its unique combination of power, performance, fuel safety and reliability as well as efficient and clean engine operation, able to withstand the rigors of heavy-duty service, 24/7 365 days a year under all types of conditions. New diesel engines today are also near-zero emissions and more fuel efficient saving fuel costs for public agencies. With the option for using blends of advanced biofuels like renewable diesel fuel, emergency response fleets can further contribute to community well being by reducing carbon and other emissions.

With May 21-27 is National Emergency Medical Services Week, it is a good time to remember that this recognition was created by President Gerald Ford when the concept of an Emergency Medical Technician was a  new profession. Since then, EMS professionals have been providing life saving services every day in communities across the country. Read more about the machines and equipment used by life-saving emergency responders. 


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Ezra Finkin
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