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Multnomah County Emergency Medical Services provides medical oversight and overall coordination of the EMS system in Multnomah County.

Multnomah County’s EMS system is made up of a variety of agencies and providers, including a franchised private ambulance company and local fire departments. Our EMS system providers work together to:

  • Receive calls through 9-1-1
  • Dispatch responders
  • Provide care
  • Transport patients to a hospital or other place of care

In Oregon, counties are responsible for regulating, monitoring and coordinating local EMS systems. Each agency operates independently, under the supervision of the Multnomah County EMS program’s medical director.

First Response

Emergency response is provided by fire agencies and private ambulance. Both are dispatched at the same time. Medical care is started by the team that arrives first. Patients are transported to the hospital by ambulance.

All first responders offer advanced life support. Ambulance teams consist of 2 paramedics.

Where We Are

Multnomah County covers 465 square miles and has 766,000 residents. It’s the smallest Oregon county and also the most populated. Portland is the main city and is divided east-west by the Willamette River, which is crossed by nearly a dozen bridges.

Large hills border the western edge of the county. Although the county is primarily urban, an eastern portion of the county is forested and unsettled, and has limited road access.

The county is bordered by Washington, Clackamas, Hood River and Columbia counties. To the north, across the Columbia River, is Washington state.

Program Functions

  • Medical supervision of fire and ambulance paramedics includes setting consistent standards and objectives for emergency care. This includes duties such as reviewing emergency medical protocols for paramedics and providing medical oversight and guidance.
  • Pre-hospital system regulation includes monitoring and enforcing ambulance response times, maintaining contracts for county first responder services, and responding to concerns from the public regarding paramedic care and ambulance transports.
  • Joint training organized and supervised by Multnomah County EMS helps fire and ambulance paramedics interpret and utilize medical protocols in a similar fashion.
  • Training coordinated by EMS is aimed at producing a higher level of standardization and an enhanced practice knowledge for all professionals providing emergency medical services.
  • Tri-County 911 Service Coordination Program (TC911). Serves Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington County residents who have frequent contact with ambulance and/or fire agencies. The program consists of licensed clinical social workers who help to connect clients with mental health and social services.

EMS Planning and Procurement Project

Multnomah County is reviewing and updating its ambulance service plan, and will enter into a new contract for ambulance services based on the new plan. We will also update our EMS code §21.400 and administrative rules.

This project is an opportunity for us to improve our emergency medical services system and the services it provides to people who call 9-1-1 with a medical emergency.

Proposed Ambulance Service Plan

Ambulance Service Plan - Proposed Draft (4.5 MB)
Ambulance Service Plan - Current (1994) (5.51 MB)
Multnomah County Ambulance Code - Draft (477.28 KB)

The period for public comment has closed. Thanks to everyone who submitted comments about the proposed plan.

Why are we doing this?

  • Our ambulance service plan was adopted in 1995. There have been no major changes to the EMS system’s design or functions since then.
  • Multnomah County’s emergency ambulance franchise contract ends on August 31, 2018. County rules require a request for proposal process to select an ambulance provider.

Planning Process

  • Contract with a consultant to assist with the project.
  • Engage EMS system participants to help assess the current EMS system and identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Draft and finalize the new ambulance service plan.
  • Submit updated plan to the Board of County Commissioners for adoption.
  • Adopt any needed code or rule changes.
  • Review agreements with EMS system participants.

EMS Project - Presentation Slides (307.1 KB)


Email your questions about the project to

Partner Agencies

Fire Departments & EMS

Regional 911

Contact Us

Emergency Medical Services
426 SW Stark St, 7th Floor
Portland, Oregon

Fax: 503.988.4017


Jon Jui, MD, MPH, FACEP, Medical Director

Associate Medical Directors
Liz Hatfield-Keller MD, FACEP
Mike Murray MD, FACEP
Gregory Lorts MD, FACEP

Darrell Knott, Administrator

Aaron Monnig, Program Supervisor

Jan Acebo, EMS Coordinator

Cesilee Fidler, Administrative Specialist

Karen Garber, Data Analyst