Best Cities For When You’re In an Emergency

Where America's first responders are ultra-swift.

Best Cities For When You’re In an Emergency
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If you were ever to be involved in an accident, chances are there are two words you’d prefer to use to describe your local emergency response team: fast and furious. But whether due to manpower, geography, road and weather conditions, or several other factors, some cities just are faster than others when it comes to getting to an emergency and taking action. We’ve compiled the swiftest of them all right here—so click on to see if your city is among the safest in the nation. And for more in-depth city rankings, be sure to read about The 50 Hardest Working Cities in the U.S.

OUR METHODOLOGY:

To find out which cities perform fastest in emergencies, we pulled samples of the 200 largest metropolitan areas from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which tracks data on all vehicle crashes in the United States that occur on a public roadway and involve a fatality (and which note the time emergency medical services were notified and responded to the crash). We also gathered state-level info from Healthgrove, which distilled information from a Medicare survey of more than 4,000 hospitals to find out how each state performs once emergency patients arrive at the hospital. Lastly, we looked at how many emergency medical technicians (EMTs) were working in each city, per the U.S. Census.

50
Aurora, CO

Aurora, happiest cities, healthiest cities, worst singles scenes, longest commutes, commute

Population: 361,710
Average Response Time (minutes): 6.00
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 37.32
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 135
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 15
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 44
Emergency Response Score: 9.59

Here’s some food for thought: would this ranking be the same if we had flying cars instead of ambulances?

49
Hampton, VA

Hampton, beach, sunset, pier, longest-living cities

Population: 135,410
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.80
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 22.15
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 144
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 21
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 45
Emergency Response Score: 12.53

48
Warren, MI

drunkest cities, storm, bench

Population: 135,125
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.67
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 33.30
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 137
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 22
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 52
Emergency Response Score: 14.60

47
Grand Prairie, TX

grand prairie texas

Population: 190,682
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.60
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 7.87
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 135
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 21
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 54
Emergency Response Score: 15.48

46
Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas, happiest cities, drunkest cities, flip a house, rent, property, sleepless cities

Population: 632,912
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.60
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 65.57
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 156
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 23
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 53
Emergency Response Score: 15.77

45
Columbus, OH

Columbus, happiest cities, drunkest cities, fattest cities, best cities to buy a mansion, flip a house, rent, property, sleepless cities

Population: 860,090
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.50
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 26.74
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 134
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 19
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 52
Emergency Response Score: 17.08

44
Killeen, TX

Wikimedia Commons/US Army Corps of Engineers

Population: 143,400
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.40
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 10.46
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 135
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 21
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 54
Emergency Response Score: 18.44

43
Anchorage, AK

Anchorage, drunkest cities, happiest cities

Population: 298,192
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.40
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 135
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 25
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 52
Emergency Response Score: 18.46

42
Tulsa, OK

fattest cities, drunkest cities, house flip, rent, property, sleepless cities

Population: 403,090
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.33
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 54.58
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 114
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 21
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 53
Emergency Response Score: 18.74

41
Austin,TX

Austin, happiest cities, drunkest cities, fittest cities, healthiest cities, best cities to buy a mansion, flip a house, rent, property, best job opportunities

Population: 947,890
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.33
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 41.67
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 135
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 21
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 54
Emergency Response Score: 19.06

40
West Valley City, UT

West Valley City, UT, worst singles scenes

Population: 136,574
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.33
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 21.97
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 129
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 16
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 42
Emergency Response Score: 19.58

39
Amarillo, TX

Population: 199,582
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.33
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 32.57
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 135
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 21
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 54
Emergency Response Score: 19.63

38
Philadelphia, PA

fattest cities, drunkest cities, best singles scenes, longest commutes, commute, rent, property, best job opportunities, sleepless cities

Population: 1,567,872
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.33
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 66.97
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 135
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 24
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 57
Emergency Response Score:  19.64

37
Salem, OR

Salem, drunkest cities

Population: 167,419
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.33
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 35.84
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 145
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 31
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 59
Emergency Response Score: 19.65

36
Arlington, TX

arlington texas, cities

Population: 392,772
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.00
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 30.55
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 135
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 21
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 54
Emergency Response Score: 24.65

35
Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City, drunkest cities, happiest cities, fittest cities, best singles scenes, flip a house, best job opportunities

Population: 193,744
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.00
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 51.61
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 129
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 16
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 42
Emergency Response Score:  24.66

34
Portland, OR

Portland, happiest cities, drunkest cities, fittest cities, healthiest cities, best singles scenes, flip a house, rent, property, best job opportunities

Population: 639,863
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.00
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 29.69
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 145
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 31
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 59
Emergency Response Score: 24.67

33
Huntsville, AL

Huntsville, happiest cities, fattest cities, longest-living cities, best cities to buy a mansion, sleepless cities

Population: 193,079
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.00
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 41.43
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 133
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 30
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 63
Emergency Response Score: 24.71

32
Eugene, OR

Eugene, drunkest cities, best singles scenes

Population: 166,575
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.00
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 45.02
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 145
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 31
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 59
Emergency Response Score: 24.73

31
Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado Springs, longest-living cities, drunkest cities, happiest cities, healthiest cities, best cities to buy a mansion, flip a house, rent, property, sleepless cities

Population: 465,101
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.00
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 91.38
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 135
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 15
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 44
Emergency Response Score: 24.74

30
Baton Rouge, LA

fattest cities, drunkest cities, longest-living cities, best singles scenes

Population: 227,715
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.00
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 48.31
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 125
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 22
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 54
Emergency Response Score: 24.74

29
Henderson, NV

Henderson, happiest cities, drunkest cities, singles scenes, best cities to buy a mansion

Population: 292,969
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.00
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 34.13
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 156
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 23
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 53
Emergency Response Score: 24.75

28
Boise, ID

Boise, happiest cities, drunkest cities, fittest cities, healthiest cities, best singles scenes, best cities to buy a mansion, best job opportunities

Population: 223,154
Average Response Time (minutes): 5.00
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 78.42
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 127
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 21
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 48
Emergency Response Score:  24.89

27
Boston, MA

Boston, fittest cities, drunkest cities, longest-living cities, healthiest cities, best singles scenes, house flip, longest commutes, commute, rent, property, sleepless cities

Population: 673,184
Average Response Time (minutes): 4.67
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 30.45
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 165
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 38
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 55
Emergency Response Score: 29.69

26
Saint Paul, MN

Population: 302,398
Average Response Time (minutes): 4.67
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 14.88
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 108
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 20
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 44
Emergency Response Score: 29. 70

25
Tucson, AZ

Tucson, drunkest cities, flip a house, rent, property, sleepless cities

Population: 530,706
Average Response Time (minutes): 4.67
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 64.07
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 174
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 28
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 53
Emergency Response Score: 29.75

24
Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City, happiest cities, drunkest cities, fattest cities, best cities to buy a mansion, flip a house, rent, property

Population: 638,367
Average Response Time (minutes): 4.67
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 57.96
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 114
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 21
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 53
Emergency Response Score: 29.82

23
Midland, TX

midland texas, emergency cities

Population: 134,610
Average Response Time (minutes): 4.67
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 48.29
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 135
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 21
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 54
Emergency Response Score: 29.95

22
Lakewood, CO

Lakewood, drunkest cities

Population: 154,393
Average Response Time (minutes): 4.67
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 32.38
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 135
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 15
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 44
Emergency Response Score: 30.02

21
Greensboro, NC

Greensboro, drunkest cities, happiest cities, fattest cities, longest-living cities, best singles scenes, flip a house, sleepless cities

Population: 287,027
Average Response Time (minutes): 4.60
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 19.16
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 152
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 30
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 56
Emergency Response Score: 30.64

20
Plano, TX

Plano, happiest cities, longest-living cities, healthiest cities, best cities to buy a mansion, best job opportunities

Population: 286,057
Average Response Time (minutes): 4.60
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 92.64
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 135
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 21
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 54
Emergency Response Score: 31.00

19
Thornton, CO

thornton CO, tax friendly cities

Population: 136,703
Average Response Time (minutes): 4.40
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 36.58
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 135
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 15
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 44
Emergency Response Score:  33.74

18
Des Moines, IA

Des Moines, drunkest cities, happiest cities, longest-living cities, best cities to buy a mansion

Population: 215,472
Average Response Time (minutes): 4.33
Number of EMTs per 100k People: –
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 117
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 22
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 45
Emergency Response Score: 34.57

17
Olathe, KS

Population: 135,473
Average Response Time (minutes): 4.33
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 62.74
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 112
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 18
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 46
Emergency Response Score: 34.88

16
North Las Vegas, NV

North Las Vegas, happiest cities, worst singles scenes

Population: 238,702
Average Response Time (minutes): 4.20
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 67.03
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 156
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 23
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 53
Emergency Response Score: 36.92

15
Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix, happiest cities, best cities to buy a mansion, flip a house, rent, property, best job opportunities, sleepless cities

Population: 1,615,017
Average Response Time (minutes): 4.00
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 29.41
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 174
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 28
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 53
Emergency Response Score: 39.75

14
Springfield, MA

Springfield, drunkest cities

Population: 154,074
Average Response Time (minutes): 3.75
Number of EMTs per 100k People: –
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 165
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 38
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 55
Emergency Response Score:  43.38

13
Raleigh, NC

Raleigh, happiest cities, drunkest cities, fittest cities, longest-living cities, healthiest cities, best cities to buy a mansion, flip a house, property, best job opportunities

Population: 458,880
Average Response Time (minutes): 3.67
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 19.61
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 152
Averag e to Evaluation Time (minutes): 30
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 56
Emergency Response Score:  44.73

12
New Orleans, LA

Population: 391,495
Average Response Time (minutes): 3.67
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 31.93
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 125
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 22
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 54
Emergency Response Score: 44.79

11
Gilbert, AZ

Gilbert, happiest cities, fittest cities, longest-living cities, healthiest cities, worst singles scenes, best cities to buy a mansion, longest commutes, commute

Population: 237,133
Average Response Time (minutes): 3.67
Number of EMTs per 100k People: –
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 174
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 28
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 53
Emergency Response Score:  44.90

10
Fort Collins, CO

Fort Collins, drunkest cities, longest-living cities, best cities to buy a mansion

Population: 164,207
Average Response Time (minutes): 3.67
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 66.99
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 135
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 15
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 44
Emergency Response Score:  44.97

9
Grand Rapids, MI

Population: 196,445
Average Response Time (minutes): 3.67
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 22.91
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 137
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 22
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 52
Emergency Response Score:  45.54

8
Savannah, GA

Savannah, drunkest cities, best singles scenes, sleepless cities

Population: 146,763
Average Response Time (minutes): 3.60
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 13.63
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 146
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 31
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 59
Emergency Response Score: 45.71

7
Syracuse, NY

Syracuse, drunkest cities, best singles scenes

Population: 143,378
Average Response Time (minutes): 3.33
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 10.46
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 169
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 22
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 5
Emergency Response Score: 49.72

6
Glendale, AZ

Glendale, happiest cities, fittest cities, healthiest cities, worst singles scenes

Population: 245,895
Average Response Time (minutes): 3.33
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 32.53
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 174
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 28
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 53
Emergency Response Score: 49.83

5
Rochester, NY

Rochester, drunkest cities, best singles scenes, sleepless cities

Population: 208,880
Average Response Time (minutes): 3.00
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 69.42
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 169
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 22
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 59
Emergency Response Score:  55.05

4
Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati, drunkest cities, best singles scenes, sleepless cities

Population: 298,800
Average Response Time (minutes): 3.00
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 18.41
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 134
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 19
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 52
Emergency Response Score: 59.39

3
Mesa, AZ

Mesa, happiest cities, worst singles scenes, rent, property

Population: 484,587
Average Response Time (minutes): 2.67
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 21.67
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 174
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 28
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 53
Emergency Response Score: 59.84

2
Little Rock, AR

Little Rock, fattest cities, drunkest cities, best singles scenes, sleepless cities

Population: 198,541
Average Response Time (minutes): 2.33
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 30.22
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 127
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 25
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 62
Emergency Response Score: 64.92

1
McKinney, TX

mckinney texas, emergency cities

Population: 172,298
Average Response Time (minutes): 2.00
Number of EMTs per 100k People: 20.31
Average Arrival to Departure Time (minutes): 135
Average Arrival to Evaluation Time (minutes): 21
Average Time Before Patients With Broken Bones Receive Pain Meds (minutes): 54
Emergency Response Score:  69.90

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