City of Red Deer Emergency Services department

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

City of Red Deer Emergency Services department

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • City of Red Deer Fire Department
  • RDES
  • Red Deer Emergency Services

Identifiers for corporate bodies


Description area

Dates of existence

1904 -


The Emergency Services department was started as a Fire Brigade on September 22, 1904 by the Town of Red Deer. The Brigade was essentially a volunteer organization, with members paid based on the number of alarms they answered and practices they attended. They reported directly to Town Council and the Mayor until 1907 when they started reporting to the Mayor and Commissioner's office.

The Fire Department slowly shifted from volunteers to paid staff starting after the First World War and finally completing the transition in July 1969.

In 1962, the Fire Department began offering community ambulance services and paramedic services. To help manage the ambulance service, the City created an Ambulance Services Advisory Board in May 1985.

In January 1986, the title of Fire Chief was changed to Manger of the Fire and Ambulance Department. In 1994, the name of the Department was changed from the Fire Department to the Emergency Services department.

In 1996, the Emergency Services department moved under the Development Services division. In 2012, responsibililty for ambulance services transferred from the City to Alberta Health Services. The City became a contractor providing personnel and vehicles to Alberta Health Services.

In July 2017, the Department moved under the newly created Protective Services division.


Red Deer (Alberta)

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Red Deer Emergency Services provides fire, ambulance and emergency preparedness for the citizens of Red Deer. Red Deer Emergency Services (RDES) is a dual service department that provides fire, rescue and emergency medical services to the residents of Red Deer. Emergency Services operates a 9-1-1 emergency communications dispatch, which serves both The City of Red Deer and 70 communities in central and southern Alberta. Red Deer Emergency Services employs over 160 people to provide round-the-clock Fire and Ambulance service.

Activities of the City of Red Deer Emergency Services department include fire services, emergency medical services, high angle rescue, ice / river rescue, vehicle extrication, trench rescue, hazardous materials response (HAZMAT), fire inspections, fire investigations, public education, and emergency preparedness & response.

Mandates/sources of authority

Emergency Services is comprised of six branches: Administration; Fire & Injury Prevention; Fire Suppression; EMS (Emergency Medical Services); 9-1-1 Emergency Communications; and Mechanical.

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area

Subject access points

Place access points


Control area

Authority record identifier


Institution identifier

Red Deer and District Archives

Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail


Dates of creation, revision and deletion



  • English



Administrative History Project, Emergency Services (2016)
Archives Network of Alberta description (2004)
City of Red Deer website (2017)

Maintenance notes

  • Clipboard

  • Export

  • EAC

Related subjects

Related places