New York City Police Department Emergency Service Unit

New York City Police Department Emergency Service Unit
New York City Police Department Emergency Service Unit
Common name NYPD Emergency Service Unit
Abbreviation NYPD ESU
Nypd esu.jpg
Patch of the New York City Police Department ESU unit, worn on the left side of ESU uniforms
Patch of the New York City Police Department, worn on the right side of ESU uniforms only
Nypd flag.png
Flag of the New York City Police Department
Motto "At Your Service... Anything, Anytime, Anywhere!"
Agency overview
Formed 1920
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* City of New York in the state of New York, USA
Map of New York Highlighting New York City.svg
Map of New York City Police Department Emergency Service Unit's jurisdiction.
Size 1,214.4 km²
Population 8,274,527
Legal jurisdiction New York City
General nature
Operational structure
Police Officers Approx. 500
Police Commissioner responsible Raymond W. Kelly
Agency executive Deputy Chief James Molloy, Commanding Officer
Parent agency New York City Police Department
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The New York City Police Department Emergency Service Unit is the Emergency Service Unit (ESU) for the New York City Police Department. A component of the Special Operations Division of the Patrol Services Bureau, the unit provides specialized support and advanced equipment to other NYPD units. For example, its Canine Unit helps with searches for perpetrators and missing persons. The Emergency Service Unit also functions as a Special Weapons and Tactical Unit (SWAT) and NYPD hostage negotiators assist and secure the safety of hostages. Members of "ESU" are cross trained in multiple disciplines for police and rescue work. They are always on patrol (all three tours, 365 days a year) with 10 Heavy Rescue trucks, each manned by a police officer and a sergeant, and often more than twice as many smaller Radio Emergency Patrol vehicles containing two ESU police officers. There are also two or more patrol Sergeants or Lieutenants in unmarked vehicles on duty at all times to supervise ESU operations where needed. These are called "U-Cars" on the NYPD radio, for example, "U-5".


Field organizations

The ten Emergency Service Squads (ESS) are divided geographically as:

Emergency Service Squads (or Trucks):

  • ESS-1 (Lower Manhattan),
  • ESS-2 (Upper Manhattan),
  • ESS-3 (East and South Bronx),
  • ESS 4 (West and North Bronx),
  • ESS-5 (Staten Island),
  • ESS-6 (South Brooklyn),
  • ESS-7 (East Brooklyn),
  • ESS-8 (North Brooklyn) - REP truck,
  • ESS-9 (South Queens) - Heavy Rescue Truck,
  • ESS-10 (North Queens) - REP truck, and
  • ESS-11 (Assigned to ESU Headquarters).
  • ESS-14 Hazmat/Rescue Truck.

ESS-11 is not a patrol squad but a vehicle manned by trainers and support staff assigned to ESU headquarters at Floyd Bennett Field and can respond to nearby incidents or as back-up to other Emergency Service Squads when required.

Lieutenants are city wide patrol supervisors who are assigned to patrol multiple "trucks", They patrol as either U-5 (Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island), or U-4, (Manhattan and the Bronx) respond to major incidents within their assigned boroughs for the shift.

The ESU Canine Unit maintains 36 dogs-handler teams which include three bloodhounds and several dogs cross-trained in cadaver recovery. The ESU canines are an integral part of the US-TF1 Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team as deployed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).


The Emergency Service Unit currently utilizes numerous vehicles including:

  • 40 Radio Emergency Patrol (REP) trucks which are ESU's work horse and are used for regular patrol. Each REP is equipped with scba gear, medical kits and rescue equipment including heavy hydraulics. REP trucks are built by Odyssey Specialty Automotive.[3][4]
  • 14 portable light tower generator units stationed throughout the city. In addition to the towers, ESU can also deploy 60Kw, 90Kw, 100Kw and 200Kw generators upon request for additional power when required.
  • Four Mobile Light Generators which are specialized light-power units with tower generators mounted in the bed of pickup trucks.[6]
  • 100Kw mobile generator trucks designated as Mobile Auxiliary Light Truck (MALT)s. It has the capability of supplying enough power to light up Grand Central Station.[7]
  • Construction Accident Response Vehicles (CARV) which responds to construction accidents and is used to stabilize structures and rescue entrapped workers/personnel.[8]
  • Emergency Support Vehicle (ESV) which is complete with a motorized Zodiac inflatable and deployable rescue airbag.[9][10]
  • ESU also has six jet skis, plus numerous Zodiac inflatables assigned to units throughout the NYPD.


A NYPD ESU Emergency Medical Squad patch

The personnel selected for ESU become highly trained, elite members of the NYPD who perform rescue, SWAT and other high risk tactical, counter-narcotic and counter-terror operations.

There are minimum time-in-grade requirements before an NYPD officer can apply to transfer to ESU. In addition, all ESU candidates must be approved by a group of current ESU members to ensure that they will integrate into the unit successfully.

Casualties/line of duty deaths

ESU lost more members (14 out of 23 NYPD officers) than any other NYPD unit during the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001.


ESU in popular culture

Also seen extensively in:

  • NYPD Blue
  • Law & Order and its various spinoffs
    • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, L&O: SVU
    • Law & Order: Criminal Intent, L&O:CI
    • Law & Order: Trial by Jury
  • Third Watch
  • CSI: NY

See also


E-Man: Life in the NYPD Emergency Services Unit (Paperback) by Jerry Schmetterer and Al Sheppard

External links

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