The City of Allentown's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is a public service system that includes all-paramedic staffed ambulances that are dispatched 24 hours/day through an enhanced 9-1-1 communications system. Allentown's paramedics responded to a record 16,132 requests for emergency medical assistance in 2020; a number that has increased annually.
Without question, our people are the foundation that makes Allentown EMS the clear pre-hospital leader in the region. Allentown EMS employs twenty-nine full-time and over twenty part-time paramedics. Allentown's paramedics are highly trained professionals that are experts in emergency medicine, incident command, advanced life support equipment and so much more. More than just a mobile intensive care ambulance service, Allentown's paramedics are involved in numerous public service specialty teams such as HAZMAT, police ERT, Technical and Urban Search and Rescue, water rescue, bomb squad, and our dive and bike teams just to name a few.
To reach our citizens and visitors who need help, our Communications Center utilizes a state-of-the-art computer-aided dispatching (CAD) system which automatically performs vital dispatching functions such as determining the closest ambulance to the call through the use of automatic vehicle locator's (AVL's). A modified system status management plan positions ambulances throughout the service area to ensure the quickest possible response to emergency calls. In-vehicle computers are utilized to receive CAD information and safety messages as well as view maps of the City and access GPS information.
When a medical emergency 911 call is received by the Lehigh County communications center, highly trained Emergency Medical Dispatcher's (EMD's), utilizing the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS) provide valuable information and instructions on how to perform lifesaving maneuvers to patients while paramedics are enroute.
In 2017 we upgraded all of our monitor/defibrillator/pacemakers to the latest technology from Stryker/Physio-Control. In 2018 we outfitted each front-line ambulance with a LUCAS 3 automated CPR device and an Intubrite Video Laryngoscope. In 2019, Allentown EMS upgraded 20+ year-old ambulance cots to the newest power cot and power load system from Stryker and purchased a HoverJack for movement of bariatric patients. These upgrades have improved safety for the crews and patients while continuing to advance our capabilities in medical care. In 2020 city administration supported the addition of four (4) full-time paramedics to add a third overnight ambulance to respond to emergency calls. This is the first addition of a staff ambulance since 2003 and proved beneficial with the record call volume.
Our current fleet includes 8 ALS equipped ambulances where three advanced life support ambulances that are staffed around the clock with an additional ALS ambulance operating during peak call-volume times. Additionally, our shift supervisor responds to calls 24hrs a day in an ALS quick response vehicle. Our newest ambulance features a 360 degree camera, enhanced occupant crash restraints, and privacy windows for enhanced safety and security.
Three fire stations within the City of Allentown house the EMS fleet: Central Station on Chew Street in center city houses two ambulances and three ALS quick response squad units. Mack South station on Lehigh Street houses two ambulances - one of which is positioned as a standby unit, and our special event cart which is used at outdoor events in the City. Finally, Hibernia station at Ridge Ave and Tilghman Street on the City's east side house another ALS ambulance.
If you have any questions or comments about our service, please feel free to call us at 610-437-7531.