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TFD Cares

The City of Tacoma (COT) Fire Department serves the community in both emergency and non-emergency medical service capacities. Starting in 2012, the COT Fire Department started providing non-emergency medical services to assist citizens beyond a traditional 911 emergency medical service (EMS) call.

The COT Fire Department recognizes a person’s need for medical help can extend beyond a 911-EMS response and sometimes that need can perpetuate over-use of 911 EMS. Over-use of 911 EMS by individuals, agencies, and multi-family addresses can have a major impact on emergency response times. COT Fire Department non-emergency medical services work to educate on the appropriate use of 911-EMS, mitigate over-use of the 911 EMS system, and assist citizens in obtaining appropriate medical resources and services. A priority for the department is to ensure citizens stay safe and healthy in their home and in the community. To accomplish this priority the focus of non-emergency medical services is to:

  1. Assist individuals in making healthy choices and connect with needed health services. Health services include physical health (chronic illnesses, etc.), mental health and wellbeing, chemical dependency (Opioid, alcohol, etc.), and social (food, transportation).
  2. Partner with multi-family addresses to generate strategies to assist residents with health and social needs.
  3. Partner with local community health and social services to support community-wide efforts to ensure the safety of our citizens and improve the health of our community.

TFD CARES is the Fire Department's Non-Emergency Medical Service 

COT Fire Department’s non-emergency medical service is known as TFD CARES. CARES stands for Community, Assistance, Referral, and Education Service. It is an expanded fire department based service supported by Washington State Legislation (RCW 35.21.930). The COT Fire Department provides CARES services to ensure public safety and includes it as a long-term strategic initiative for the department. The CARES Program is available to citizens residing in Tacoma, Fife, and Fircrest.


For additional information, contact TFD CARES Program Manager, Laura Morris at (253) 591-5201 or by email at lmorris@cityoftacoma.org