EMS (Ambulance) Division

The City of Council Bluffs Emergency Medical Service provides an Advanced Life Support (ALS) system which has evolved since 1996 and has grown to the level of excellence that it is today.

The system benefits from enhanced 911, Advanced Life Support staffed engine companies, ALS ambulances, actively involved hospitals, and a comprehensive continuous quality improvement process to produce one of the highest cardiac arrest save rates in the nation. In 2015, the national average of survival from cardiac arrest was six to 10 percent. Council Bluffs had a 42% survival rate. Eight patients walked out of the hospital without any neurological deficits from their cardiac arrest.

Each year our department responds to more than 8,000 fire and EMS incidents with over 80 percent being EMS responses. Cardiac arrests are approximately one percent of our EMS responses.

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Staffing and Equipment


  • Council Bluffs Fire Dept (CBFD) has 107 full-time staff members
  • 58 EMT and 47 certified paramedics
  • Three state of the art ambulances, each staffed with a paramedic and seven fire apparatus to provide a quick response ALS service

Mission Lifeline EMS Recognition Award


In 2015, the Council Bluffs Fire Department received the Mission Lifeline EMS Recognition award from the American Heart Association for its’ work with local hospitals to identify STEMI patients and ensure proper intervention within a timely manner (<90 min).  


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EMS Quality of Care


The EMS system continues to develop and maintain new methods of delivering high quality EMS care to the City of Council Bluffs. The Fire Department works in conjunction with hospitals and trauma centers to provide cost effective and superior clinical emergency medical services. Medics are given daily feedback on diagnosis and outcome of their transported patients which allows for analytic review.

The system operates on a countywide EMS protocol that is continually reviewed and updated to the most current evidenced based treatments and equipment available. Some skills included in the protocol; CPAP, 12 Lead EKG's, field activated Cath lab notifications, aggressive pain management protocol including intranasal medications, IO drills, video laryngoscopes, COand CO monitoring devices to name a few.

Studies from the American Heart Association show those who received CPR started by a bystander had a greater chance of survival than those who did not. Each year our statistics show about half of our cardiac arrest saves received bystander CPR; therefore, we encourage everyone to learn bystander CPR to help us continue and maintain a high survival rate from cardiac arrest. To learn more contact the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or your local fire department.