In December of 1995, Columbus Fire and Rescue added a new responsibility to its mission: responding to emergency medical calls. Columbus Fire and Rescue responds to all medical calls such as severe bleeding, car accidents with injuries, heart attacks, and difficulty breathing are some of the calls the department responds to. The ambulance service is dispatched at the same time as the fire department. Columbus Fire and Rescue, having fire stations strategically located throughout the city, have shorter response times, and are able to provide life-saving techniques in many instances.
Columbus Fire and Rescue (CFR) firefighters are trained Emergency Medical Technicians. This training allows the department to administer life-saving techniques such as the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), oxygen, CPR, and basic first aid. All CFR fire trucks carry an AED, oxygen, and other first-aid equipment.
March 7, 2016, at noon, Columbus Fire and Rescue's new emergency response vehicle, MED-1, officially went online. The vehicle responds to all non-life-threatening medical calls throughout the city of Columbus. The department is expecting a second vehicle, MED-2, in 2017.