Denver Emergency Services and Safety Preparedness


Denver, the capital of Colorado, has a robust and well-coordinated emergency services system. In 2023, Denver Health’s paramedics responded to an average of 130,000 calls across the city, highlighting the importance of understanding emergency protocols and resources available to residents and visitors.

Keep reading our guide to Denver emergency services to learn more about what you need to know in a crisis, natural disaster, or other emergency situation.


  • Denver has a comprehensive emergency response system involving multiple agencies working together to ensure public safety.
  • Residents should be aware of common emergencies in Denver and how to prepare for them, including having an emergency kit and supplies.
  • Denver offers various resources and training programs to help individuals and communities better prepare for and respond to emergencies.

Understanding Denver’s Emergency Response Infrastructure

Denver‘s emergency response system involves multiple agencies working together to provide efficient and effective services. The key agencies include:

  • Denver Health Paramedic Division: Operates a fleet of 39 ambulances and responds to an average of 130,000 calls annually.
  • Denver Fire Department: Plays a crucial role in fire emergencies and rescue operations, often collaborating with Denver Health paramedics.
  • Denver Police Department: Maintains public safety and coordinates with other emergency personnel to manage emergency procedures.

These agencies coordinate to ensure a seamless response to various types of emergencies across the city.

Preparing for Emergencies in Denver

Some common emergencies in Denver include severe weather events, fires, and medical emergencies. To prepare for these situations, residents should:

  • Create an emergency kit with essential supplies such as water, non-perishable food, first-aid supplies, and a battery-powered radio.
  • Have a family emergency plan that includes meeting places, emergency contacts, and evacuation routes.
  • Stay informed about potential emergencies through local news, weather alerts, and emergency notification systems.

Denver offers various training and educational programs to help residents prepare for emergencies, such as Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training and first-aid courses.

Emergency Medical Services in Denver

Denver Health, the city’s primary safety-net hospital, is crucial in providing emergency medical services. The hospital operates a fleet of ambulances staffed with paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) who respond to 911 calls and provide vital urgent care.

In addition to Denver Health, the city has several other hospitals and clinics that provide emergency care, including:

  • University of Colorado Hospital
  • Saint Joseph Hospital
  • Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center

These facilities are equipped to handle various medical emergencies, from minor injuries to life-threatening conditions.

Fire and Rescue Services in Denver

The Denver Fire Department is responsible for responding to fire emergencies and conducting rescue operations. The department has specialized units, such as:

  • Hazardous Materials (HazMat) Team
  • Technical Rescue Team
  • Wildland Fire Team

These emergency responder units are trained to handle specific emergencies and work closely with other agencies to ensure public safety.

Law Enforcement and Public Safety

The Denver Police Department is vital in maintaining public safety and responding to emergencies. The department works with other emergency services to manage incidents and protect the community.

Community policing initiatives, such as the Support Team Assisted Response (STAR) program, help to address mental health and substance abuse-related emergencies by sending mental health professionals and paramedics to certain low-risk 911 calls.

Communication and Alerts During Emergencies

Denver uses various systems to communicate with residents during emergencies, including:

  • Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA): Text messages sent to mobile devices in affected areas.
  • Emergency Alert System (EAS): Broadcasts on radio and television stations.
  • CodeRED: A high-speed notification system that sends alerts via phone, email, and text.

Residents can stay informed by following local news outlets, signing up for emergency alerts, and monitoring official social media accounts of emergency services agencies.

Accessing Help in Emergency Situations

In case of an emergency, residents should call 911 for immediate assistance. For non-emergency situations, the Denver Police Department and Denver Health provide non-emergency numbers:

  • Denver Police Non-Emergency: (720) 913-2000
  • Denver Health NurseLine: (303) 739-1211

Denver’s emergency services also offer resources for non-English speakers and people with disabilities, such as interpretation services and accessible transportation.


The following FAQs provide information about Denver’s emergency management services.

What are the most common emergencies in Denver?

Common emergencies in Denver include severe weather events (e.g., snowstorms, thunderstorms), fires, and medical emergencies such as heart attacks, strokes, and injuries.

How can residents of Denver access emergency medical care?

Residents can access emergency medical care by calling 911 or visiting one of the several hospitals and clinics in Denver that provide emergency services, such as Denver Health, University of Colorado Hospital, and Saint Joseph Hospital.

What should be included in an emergency kit for Denver residents?

An emergency kit for Denver residents should include essentials such as water, non-perishable food, first-aid supplies, a battery-powered radio, flashlights, extra batteries, warm clothing, and important documents.

How does Denver ensure communication during widespread emergencies?

Denver uses various systems to communicate during emergencies, including Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), the Emergency Alert System (EAS), and CodeRED, which send alerts via phone, email, and text messages.

What training programs are available for Denver residents to prepare for emergencies?

Denver offers several training programs to help residents prepare for emergencies, such as Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, first-aid courses, and emergency preparedness workshops organized by local agencies and organizations.


About the author

James Ranson

I’m an editor, traveler, and fan of the great outdoors. I’ve been to all 48 continental US states, and my drives through Colorado’s rugged peaks and snowy forests (not to mention whiskey tastings in Denver!) still stand out in my memories. I’m excited to use my ten years of editing experience to develop engaging and informative guides and articles that enhance the outdoor experiences of both Colorado residents and visitors. Whether a piece is about exploring the best ski resorts, uncovering scenic trails for hiking, or finding the most inspiring drives through the Colorado Rockies, my aim is to provide comprehensive and accessible content that encourages adventure and exploration.