Q: What number do I call if I need an ambulance?
A: If you need an ambulance right away, call 911. For a
non-emergency or routine transport, call (850)921-0900. To schedule an
ambulance for a special event or function, call (850)606-2100.
Q: Can I get medical advice by calling 911?
A: No. Medical advice can only be dispensed by your
physician. If you're not sure what to do and you can't wait for your physician
to call you back, we will be glad to send you an ambulance and transport you to the
hospital to be evaluated by a physician.
Q: Do all ambulances go to calls with their lights and
A: No. When a call comes in, it is carefully triaged by a
certified Emergency Medical Dispatcher who utilized a computer based program to
determine the most appropriate response for each call. The Majority of
calls are not immediately life threatening and therefore they do not require a lights and sirens response.
Q: What does it take to become an EMT or Paramedic?
A: In order to be eligible for certification as an EMT or
Paramedic, you must graduate from an accredited program and pass the state exam.
In Leon County, Tallahassee Community College has programs for both EMT and Paramedic
certification. The typical EMT program takes about one year and a
paramedic program is about two years, including the requisite EMT training.
Additional courses such as EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operator Course), HazMat, and
Basic Trauma Life Support may be required depending on where you work. For
more information on EMT and Paramedic job requirements for Leon County EMS go to
Leon County Human
Resources Job List.
Q: How many calls did Leon County EMS respond to in 2007?
A: Approximately 30,000 calls.
Q. Who should I contact if I have a question about my
A. Advanced Data Processing, the contracted vendor for patient accounts
receivable should be contacted toll free at 1-866-758-2763.
Q. I pay for Emergency Medical Services on my tax bill, why do I also get
billed when I use the service?
A. Leon County funds the EMS Division through a combination of a Municipal
Services Taxing Unit and user fees. To minimize the taxing impact on the entire
citizenry it was decided to impact everyone for the availability of the service
through the establishment of the EMS Municipal Services Taxing Unit. Individuals
who use the service then pay a user fee to fund the remaining cost of providing
services. In this way, the taxes necessary to support Emergency Medical Services
can be held to a minimum.
Q. Is the bill for ambulance treatment and transport covered by health
A. In most cases, yes. However, this depends in large part on the type of
coverage that the patient has and whether the service is considered medically
necessary by the patientís insurance carrier. The amount that your insurance
company may pay towards ambulance transportation will vary based on the
insurance contract that you have with your insurance company. Insurance plans
offer different levels of coverage or customary charges that the insurance
company will pay towards the bill. This amount varies greatly from 100% of the
fees charged to another amount the insurance company decides is usually and
customary. Each insurance company and, in some cases, each insurance policy may
pay differently towards ambulance transportation.
Q. I was recently transported by ambulance and Medicare denied my bill for
medical necessity. Why did they deny payment and what are my rights?
A. The Medicare program will only pay for ambulance services that it deems are
medically necessary. In all cases, other means of transportation must be
contraindicated due to the patientís condition, regardless of whether other
means of transportation are available. The patientís condition must be acute and
such that transport by other means would endanger the patientís life, limb or
A patient has the right to appeal Medicareís decision. In the event that a
patientís bill is rejected, they can file an appeal for reconsideration. Simply
obtain all of the information in regards to the service provided (i.e. ambulance
records, emergency room records, physician notes, discharge orders, etc.) and
mail them to the Medicare carrier requesting an appeal. Our staff would be happy
to assist you with this process. For more information, please call 606-2100.
Q. Why does a fire truck come when I call for an ambulance?
A. Firefighters from the Tallahassee Fire Department and local volunteer fire
departments serve as medical first responders on most emergency calls. They
extricate patients from vehicle collisions, burning buildings and other
hazardous conditions and assist Leon County Paramedics in patient assessment and
stabilization. Though not dedicated healthcare providers, firefighters provide
valuable assistance, particularly in the first few minutes of an emergency.
Q. How can I get a copy of my Emergency Medical Services Records?
A. All patient records are confidential and protected by various privacy laws.
Leon County has established a privacy and security policy to comply with these
laws and to assure the integrity of your protected health information. All
requests for copies of records must be made in writing and authorized by the
patient or the patientís legal guardian. Only under a few exceptions, such as
complying with a subpoena, can medical information be released without the
consent of the patient. For more information and to request a copy of your
ambulance records, please call 606-2100.
Q. Why do I see Leon County ambulances parked at several locations around the
A. Leon County utilizes a dynamic deployment plan in urban areas to position
ambulances at strategic locations to better respond to emergencies. Ambulances
are scheduled and positioned based on historical call data. During traditionally
busier times of the day, more ambulances are on duty. This process is similar to
how law enforcement schedules and positions their officers. In rural areas of
the County, ambulances are stationed at the county fire stations in Chaires,
Fort Braden and Woodville. From time-to-time these units are re-positioned in an
effort to provide a better response posture to the entire County.
Q. When do Paramedics utilize the emergency vehicles lights and siren?
A. The time saved navigating traffic using lights and sirens can be essential,
but, due to the high risk involved with using lights and siren, only
life-threatening conditions are dispatched or transported in this manner. The
type of response is initially determined by medical dispatchers utilizing an
internationally recognized Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) program called ProQA.
ProQA guides the dispatcher through a series of questions to ask about the
patientís condition. The answers to these questions then determine the response
priority of the ambulance. This system also provides the dispatcher with
life-saving pre-arrival instructions to give the person calling 911. Dispatchers
can guide callers through providing cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, bleeding
control, child birth and care for someone having a heart attack among other
things. EMD is truly the first, first responder to respond to a personís medical
Q. What should I do when approached by an emergency vehicle?
A. State law requires motorists to yield the right of way to emergency vehicles
who are traveling with lights and siren activated. The correct procedure is to
pull to the right side of the road and come to a complete stop until the
emergency vehicle has passed. Motorists heading toward the ambulance should also
pull to the right side of the road and stop as both lanes of travel are required
to stop as long as a divided median is not present. If you are stopped at an
intersection with a traffic light, you should remain in your lane of travel so
long as the ambulance has an open lane to go around you.
Q. Do Leon County Paramedics provide community education programs?
A. Yes. Leon County Paramedics provide various community education programs that
teach children and adults injury prevention and what to do in an emergency. If
you are interested in having a program presented to your group, please call
606-2100 for more information, or see Public Education
for more information. Programs must be scheduled in advance to provide adequate
time to meet your needs.
Q. Iím hosting an event and want an ambulance there; does Leon County provide
A. Yes. Leon County will provide ambulances at sporting and other events
throughout the community. There is an hourly fee charged for events where an
ambulance is required to remain at the event and in cases where the events
location requires a dedicated ambulance. For more information and to schedule an
ambulance to standby at an event, please call 606-2100. It is necessary for
special event standbys to be scheduled in advance so that crews can be
Q. I recently received my bill and noticed that the address for remittance is
in Orlando; why is that?
A. Leon County contracts with Advanced Data Processing for patient accounts
receivable services. As a safe-guard, all monies are deposited into a special
account controlled by the County. The Orlando address is for the financial
institution that manages this account.
Q. I recently received a check in the mail from my insurance company for
ambulance transportation; what should I do?
A. Some insurance carriers send insurance payments for services rendered
directly to the patient or the insured. In these cases, you should forward the
payment to the County to pay towards the services provided to you. The patient
is responsible for payment of their bill regardless of insurance coverage.