Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department Emergency Medical Services

If you've read our history page, you already know that on August 21, 1969, Parkwood Engine 966 responded to our first "rescue" when a fireman's son was run over by a garbage truck.  This tragedy increased the urgency with which we undertook first aid training through the American Red Cross.

By October 30th, 1969, we had responded to forty-six fire calls and eight rescue calls.

As the number of first-aid calls grew, we recognized the need for a separate vehicle to handle these calls.  In 1972 General Telephone Company graciously donated a 1964 Ford Econoline van and painted it white for us.  The firemen built cabinets and outfitted the van, placing it in service as an ambulance/rescue vehicle March, 1972.

By January, 1974 our rescue calls had increased and we purchased a 1967 Cadillac ambulance from Newtown Square Fire Department in Pennsylvania to replace the converted telephone truck.

We donated the 1964 rescue truck to the Atlantic Beach Fire Department February, 1975.

Also in 1975 we began providing a higher level of care when eight firemen completed North Carolina's new Emergency Medical Technician course.  In October our Farmers' Home Administration loan was approved for the construction of a new station and ground was broken on November 16, 1975 at our current base on 1409 Seaton Rd.  The new station was dedicated on November 7, 1976.

In the spring of 1976 we ordered our first new modular ambulance through the Governor's Highway Safety Program.

Parkwood Rescue That October, our new rescue ambulance (Rescue 9) was put into service and we were chosen to use it on standby for President Gerald R. Ford during his visit to the North Carolina State Fair.

The Cadillac ambulance was retired when we received a 1978 Ford van ambulance (Rescue 10/Medic 2), again through the Governor's Highway Safety program.

In subsequent years a continual increase in our EMS call volume dictated a higher level of service and additional transport units.  By 1976 Parkwood VFD was an EMT-Intermediate provider and so became the first advanced life support provider in Durham County.  In 1998 we advanced to Paramedic provider.

We operate a fleet of 4 ambulances, all Excellance Type III on Ford 450 chassis.  Our rescue vehicle is Parkwood 4, a 1990 Emergency One Hush Heavy Rescue/Command vehicle.  Parkwood 4 is able to run three "Hurst Jaws of Life" hydraulic rescue tools simultaneously, is equipped with airbag lifting systems, an electrical generator, and additional extrication tools.

During the twelve months ending December 31, 2004, the Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department responded to 3876 alarms.  Four hundred eighty three were fire calls, 477 were heavy rescue calls, and 2916 were emergency medical calls.   Our roster consists of 128 members both volunteer and employee.  Of these thirty-eight are EMT-Basic, 23 are EMT-Intermediate, and 22 are Paramedics.  The remaining members are firefighters, Hazmat specialists, or administrative personnel.

To maintain proficiency of our responders PVFD provides continuing education, which is compliant with National Registry Standards.  PALS, PHTLS, and ACLS are among the national certification classes offered.  In addition personnel are encouraged to attend local and national conferences.  On occasion EMT-Intermediate and Paramedic classes are offered in conjunction with Durham County Technical Community College.

Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department is a progressive, highly respected emergency services provider.  Our heritage is our pride, our future is our passion.


  • PVFD is using Capnography to validate the respiratory status of all intubated patients (may also be used for severe respiratory distress).
  • Electronic Ticketing via Toughbooks are in effect, please familiarize yourselves with the new ticketing procedures. Laser printer available at DUKE ER.
  • Interested in helping out the American Red Cross, contact Blanche Hudon, Director of Volunteer services.
  • EMS Con-ED to be held Quarterly. Office of Emergency Medical Services uses its Credentialing Information Systems to allow you to track your own training. See Training for more information.
  • Access The Credentialing Information System via - EMS Performance Improvement Center
  • CDC's Family Health: Five Minutes (Or Less) For Health
  • To participate in Durham County's Technical Scope Of Practice Skills Evaluations please contact Kevin Underhill.
  • New STATE EMS Protocols go into effect January 1, 2010.
  • Following 2013 HIPAA revisions, we have an updated Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP) available for our community to access.
  • PVFD Deploys State of the Art Technology for Better EMS Care
    • Recently, PVFD upgraded to Physio LIFEPAK 15 (LP15) monitors/defibrillators on its medic units. The LP15 sets a new standard in emergency care that we are proud to bring to our patients. With the LP15 PVFD is able to monitor both cardiac and respiratory status of our patients. This enhanced monitoring includes cardiac rhythms, oxygen saturation of the blood, carbon dioxide level in respiration, as well as carbon monoxide and methemoglobin levels. We can also continuously monitor vital signs and provide life-saving defibrillation of lethal cardiac arrhythmias.

Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department ~ Durham, North Carolina ~ 919.361.0927