In the summer of 1977, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Emergency Medical Services created the Rescue Division to enhance the delivery of medically directed technical, tactical and heavy rescue. Since 1977, the Rescue Division has grown a great deal and currently has the following units:
Rescue 1 and 2
The Rescue Division has two 2007 Pierce Arrow XT Heavy-duty Rescue trucks in service that are available 24 hours a day. These units are staffed with a minimum of two paramedics at all times for any type of rescue that should arise in the City of Pittsburgh. Every paramedic in Pittsburgh is trained in Basic Vehicle Rescue (BVR) and Basic Rescue Practices (BRP).
Structural Collapse/Confined Space Rescue Truck
Hazardous Materials Response Truck
Rescue 4, a SCUBA/River Rescue Truck
Craft 5221, 5222, 5223, 5224 and 5225
All Rescue Division Paramedics are certified with the same ALS training and skills as those assigned to the Ambulance Division. All of our Rescue vehicles are fully equipped with a full compliment of ALS equipment similar to the ambulances and are Pennsylvania State Certified as ALS response vehicles.
Currently the Rescue Division is regularly staffed by six Paramedic Crew Chiefs and 18 Paramedics assigned to Rescue-1 and Rescue-2. Every Pittsburgh Paramedic Crew Chief and Paramedic is Pennsylvania State certified in a variety of rescue practices and is able to work in the Rescue Division if the need arises.
The Rescue Division also includes the Hazardous Materials Response Team and the River Rescue Units. The City of Pittsburgh HazMat Team (The Gold Team) is also part of the Allegheny County HazMat response team.
The River Rescue Station is located at PNC Park and during the peak boating season the unit is regularly staffed by two Paramedics who are certified Public Safety/Master SCUBA Divers. Throughout the remainder of the year and on the night shift, River Rescue is staffed by one Paramedic Public Safety/Master SCUBA Diver and an additional Paramedic Public Safety/Master SCUBA Diver will respond from their assigned Medic or Rescue Unit as needed to handle emergency responses.