NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – WAVY Digital Desk Host Sarah Goode spoke with Battalion Chief Glen Williams from Norfolk Fire-Rescue about the department’s emergency medical services. Watch the full conversation in the player on this page.

National EMS Week is May 21 through 27. This year’s theme is “EMS Where Emergency Care Begins”. In honor of the week, learn more about EMS in the City of Norfolk. It’s the 49th annual year of the week that celebrates the emergency medical services field and the providers.

Norfolk has dual services, fire, and EMS. Norfolk firefighters are trained as advanced EMTs or paramedics. This level of training takes months. They work 24-hour shifts, sometimes serving 12 hours on a firetruck and 12 hours on an ambulance. Firetrucks are also outfitted with EMS gear to help on calls.

Between Norfolk’s roads, beaches, waterways, and the city, the firefighters must be able to respond to all types of scenes. They have boats in the department, a tool to manage calls involving calls in the many waterways.

Williams says last year, Norfolk Fire-Rescue received 53,000 emergency calls, which is a record number for the department. Of those calls, approximately 85% were EMS related.

For more than 30 years, the department has evolved to bring citizens the best care. This includes learning new technologies, training, and growing fire stations.

Williams spoke with us about one tactic they are implementing called high-performance CPR. The unit works together in cardiac arrest calls, bringing in more hands and trucks to assist, to ultimately help give the patient a better chance for survival.

For more information about high performance CPR, visit the links below.

The department continues to expand, and bring on new firefighters. The application period will open again after Labor Day. Find more information about joining Norfolk Fire-Rescue at the link here.

National CPR and AED Awareness Week is June 1 through 7. On Saturday, June 3 is Norfolk Fire-Rescue CPR & AED Education Day. Join the department at Fire Station 4, located at 5909 Poplar Halls Drive.

Visit the Hampton Roads American Heart Association website to find more trainings.