History of Spartanburg EMS

Spartanburg EMS was officially established in 1973 with 16 employees operating 5 ambulances and one supervisor unit on a 24 on 24 off rotation. The original EMS Headquarters was located in the East Annex of Spartanburg Regional Hospital, crews also operated out of Campobello and Woodruff Stations.

EMS was the only organization in the county at that time to be trained and equipped with Hyrdaulic Hurst Tools most commonly known as the "Jaws of Life".  As changing technology influenced the rest of the EMS world, Spartanburg EMS changed right along with it. 

First Day at St. John St Headquarters

First Day at St. John St Headquarters

As EMS continued to grow and develop, in 1984 Spartanburg County decided to contract with Spartanburg Regional Hospital to manage EMS.  That contract remains in place today and all EMS employees are employed by Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System.  

Original 16 Spartanburg EMS Employees

Original 16 Spartanburg EMS Employees

In 1978 Spartanburg EMS began operating all units at the Advanced Life Support level utilizing the brand new state of the art Lifepak 5!

Also in 1978 EMS moved to its second Headquarters location at 451 E St. John St which was an old Spartanburg City Fire Station.  1978 also began the era of developing many of our present day specialized response teams.  The High Angle Rescue Team was developed in 1978 followed shortly by the Dive Rescue Team in 1980.  The initial equipment was purchased by community donors and out of pocket expenses by team members.


In 1987 EMS developed its first Tactical Medical Team partnering with Spartanburg County Sheriffs Office and in 1989 partnered with Spartanburg City Police Department.  To this day, the Tactical Medic Team remains one of our most active special teams continuing to work with both Spartanburg County and Spartanburg City Tactical Teams.  

Spartanburg EMS pioneered the use of Quick Response Vehicles or QRV's to provide Advanced Life Support backup to Spartanburg County Rescue Squads spread throughout the county.  In 1987 the first QRV was put into service, this truck was also our first 12hour shift working from 8am to 8pm daily.   

Over the course of the next decade, EMS enjoyed several success stories, winning numerous awards and being home to several competition champions.  In 1989 Spartanburg EMS was named the NAEMT National Paramedic System of the Year.  

EMS moved into its present day headquarters in 1999.  As of 2019, EMS operates 25 units daily from 21 stations located throughout Spartanburg County.  

In 2006 Spartanburg EMS was selected by SLED and the Department of Homeland Security to be the host agency for one of South Carolina's four Regional Medical Assistance Teams, this has grown to be our largest specialized response team and has the capability to respond to all types of mass casualty incidents.  

From day 1 with 16 employees until today with over 200 employees, Spartanburg EMS remains focused on providing high quality care and utilizing the latest technology and processes in the most efficient means possible.  Our caring, compassionate, and dedicated employees are what make Spartanburg EMS what it is today.