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In the United States, a public safety department or department of public safety (DPS), is a state or local government agency which serves to assist the certain agencies in their services by providing administrative, financial, and technical services and support for core public safety functions for some or all of the following:

  • Fire and rescue services: includes fire prevention and suppression, all types of rescue services and HAZMAT response.
  • Ambulance and emergency medical services (EMS): usually only provides emergency medical transportation
  • Police and security guard licensing services: including crime prevention, suppression and investigation, uniformed patrol and response.
  • Emergency communications: operates the public interface emergency communications telephone system by providing the 9-1-1 and Enhanced 911 emergency telephone numbers.
  • Office of Emergency Services (OES): plans for and operates the Emergency Operations Center during calamities, disasters, special events and emergencies.

In other countries and states, an equivalent might be known as the Ministry of the Interior or Department of Emergency Services. The United States Department of Homeland Security is the federal level department of public safety of the United States, which is responsible for federal emergency services via Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).


Erie County Courthouse - 140 West Sixth Street, Erie, PA 16501 - (814) 451-6000 - TDD Phone: (814) 451-6237 - Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm
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