Louisville Metro Emergency Medical Services


The city of Louisville has a population of almost 750,000 citizens spread across nearly 400 square miles of urban neighborhoods, suburban communities and rural farmland. Louisville Metro EMS serves this entire, diverse community as the city’s primary 911 emergency medical care provider.

LMEMS provides basic and advanced life support care, responding to more than 100,000 calls for service annually. Using a system status management deployment model,  LMEMS staffs ambulances according to system demand and flexes coverage as needed. They also deploy a number of rapid response fly cars in the suburban areas of the city to provide first response coverage.

LMEMS has also led the way in the establishment of alternative care programs to assist those patients who call 911 with non-life-threatening medical concerns. Not only do these programs help patients get the type of care they truly need, but it also allows LMEMS to preserve emergency resources for the most critical patients.


Automatic vehicle locator (AVL) devices use Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to remotely track the location of LMEMS ambulances across the city. This technology has provided LMEMS with the capability to know where their resources are located in real-time and to ensure that the ambulance closest to the location of an emergency medical call for service is the unit that gets dispatched to respond to that call. 

Real-Time EKG

LMEMS personnel can conduct EKGs in the field and wirelessly transmit the results to the nearest hospital equipped to perform the necessary procedures. While the ambulance is en route, the hospital’s cardiac team can prepare for immediate treatment in the cardiac catheterization lab.

Special Teams

LMEMS also maintains employees assigned to provide specialized service such as Tactical Medics to the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT), Dive Medics and Swift-Water Rescue Medics, as well as retaining a highly visible bicycle team. Personnel are also assigned to the federally administered Joint Emergency Service Unit which seeks to combine all aspects of public safety in a large area into one task force to better coordinate activities in the event of a major emergency.

The LMEMS ambulances and command units are identified over the radio as MEDIC units and the first response trucks are called FLYCARS. Each different type of unit has a different type of unit number. Just FYI a Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulance is staffed by two EMTs, an Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulance is required to have a Paramedic on board so it is staffed by one Paramedic and one EMT. The FLYCARS are staffed by a Paramedic/lieutenant.

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