DCEMS is the primary emergency medical provider for the residents of Delaware County
DCEMS is an emergency only service, and provides no scheduled transports. In an effort to achieve this goal, we locate our stations in strategic areas of the county to provide service within 4 to 8 minutes of any call for assistance. To find the station closest to your home, check our County Map. We are the second largest provider of Emergency Medical Services in Central Ohio.
DCEMS responds to over 6,000 calls annually in a 459 square mile service area.
- 120 full-time employees
- Approximately 10 part-time staff
- 11 advanced life support (ALS) transport ambulances
This is supplemented by two Quick-Response Captain’s vehicles. The department contracts with two of the county’s 13 fire departments, Liberty Township and the City of Delaware, to provide EMS in their own jurisdictions. The Department’s Operational Staff is structured into three 24-hour shifts. Each shift consists of two Captains, who report to the Assistant Chief, and are responsible for all daily operations, and a Lieutenant for each of ten ALS crews, each responsible for the operational and clinical oversight of individual emergency scenes.
DCEMS Administration consists of the Chief, who is the Department’s Executive Officer, two Assistant Chiefs, and six Captains, who oversee the daily operations as field supervisors. To learn more about each member of the leadership team visit the Administration page.
The department staff is structured into three 24 hour shifts. Each shift’s team includes two Captains who are responsible for all daily operations and a Lieutenant for each of 11 ALS crews, each responsible for the direct operational and clinical oversight of individual emergency scenes.
In an effort to provide high-quality emergency medical serve, DCEMS has strategically located our stations throughout the county to provide service within five to eight minutes after a call for assistance. To find the station closest to your home, check our County Map.
DCEMS owns all of stand alone stations, except one, which the department leases for $1.00 per year. In the townships where we cohabitate in the fire stations, we typically have an annual “rental agreement” for use of living space and use of utilities.
DCEMS was placed in service as an independent agency on April 2, 1978 to provide full-time emergency medical care to the residents of Delaware County.
Due to the changes in federal regulations that followed, the funeral homes in the area discontinued the service and Delaware County assumed the responsibility through the Sheriff’s Department until April of 1978. By that time, the Sheriff’s Office was receiving too many calls and couldn’t keep up with both the medical and law enforcement demand. The County Commissioners met with all of the county’s different township administrations, and the result was the need to accept the responsibility of providing Countywide EMS, with the exception of Liberty Township and the city of Delaware.
DCEMS originally began with twenty two employees and two ambulances providing basic life support care. Just a few years later, the Ohio General Assembly authorized advanced life support care, and the County sent five members to Paramedic school almost immediately. They were Don Witt, Mike Evans, Marty Selvage, Steve Breece and Tim Pickering.
Previous DCEMS Chiefs
- Ed Dick, 1972 to 1981
- Don Witt, 1981 to 1985
- Dick Harter, 1985 to 1986
- Ed Dick (again), 1986 to 1990
- Pearline Howald, 1990 to 2004
- Rob Farmer, 2004 to 2013
- Michael Schuiling, 2013 to 2019