Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between an EMT and a Paramedic?
EMT: An EMT is considered a Basic Life Support (BLS) technician. They are certified through the state to provide BLS skills such as spinal immobilization, splinting, bandaging, CPR, automated defibrillation, bleeding control and use of BLS airways like Nasal Trumpets, oral airways and non-visualized airway tubes. Becoming an EMT normally requires 4-5 months of classroom training and around 40 hours of ambulance and Hospital clinical training.
Paramedics: A paramedic is considered an Advanced Life Support (ALS) technician. They are licensed through the state to provide all BLS skills and also include ALS skills to include manual defibrillation, Medication administration, IV therapy, Intubation, Interosseous IV access, etc. Becoming a Paramedic normally requires anywhere from 1-2 years of classroom as well as hundreds of hours of ambulance and hospital clinical training,
What Is Diversion, and what does that mean to me ?
Diversion is a status level that a hospital declares when they become overwhelmed with patients. When Hospitals are on diversion they request that we transport patients to a different Hospital unless they meet certain criteria such as Stroke, Heart Attack and serious Trauma; with that being said, if a patient wishes to still be taken to the hospital on diversion we will take you to that hospital as long as it is an appropriate facility, Just keep in mind that the hospital that is on diversion is busy and it may take longer to get seen than normal.
Why do we send two ambulances to every scene ?
Many people think we send two ambulances to each scene however; what we are responding with is an ambulance and a Paramedic chase vehicle. The chase vehicle is staffed with a shift supervisor who is also a paramedic. Due to staffing issues, not all ambulances are staffed with Paramedics. We send the chase vehicle for a couple reasons: if the responding ambulance is staffed with EMT's only, having the supervisor respond assures that there is a paramedic available also, if the Paramedic is not needed and the patient can be transported by EMTs, the paramedic can return to service and be available to respond on the next call where they may be needed. In the event that a patient is more serious than what a single technician can manage, the chase vehicle provides an extra person to provide maximum care to the patient. This happens when we respond to a scene and encounter a critical patient; the supervisor just gets on the ambulance and assists with patient care and leaves his vehicle on scene. Sometimes the fire departments return our vehicle to us and other times we retrieve it after the patient is delivered to the hospital.
What if I don't have insurance ?
Owen County EMS does charge for treatment and transport to the Hospital. We use a third party billing company that is in Michigan. The billing company is trained and focused on EMS billing and provides a great service to the county in maximizing return of reimbursement from insurance companies. If you find yourself in a situation where you need emergency treatment and transport, and do not have insurance, do not hesitate to call 911 for assistance. OCEMS does accept payments for our services. Contact the billing company at set up a payment plan that fits your needs .
Will you come get me and take me home from the hospital?
Owen county EMS Provides emergency care and transport to the Hospital. Only in very rare occasions does OCEMS transport persons home from the hospital. Return transports require certain criteria be met to assure insurance will reimburse for the transport.
Will you check my vitals?
When OCEMS has personnel on station, we would be happy to check vital signs for you if you want to stop by. However remember we are not physicians and cannot provide services to you that a physicians office can. We cannot prescribe medications to you or diagnose illnesses. We can check your vitals and transport you to the hospital if you wish.
Why am I receiving an Owen County EMS bill from a different state ?
With the ability to use digital technology, Owen County uses a Billing service that is in Michigan. The Billing company that we use specializes in EMS reimbursement and provides a great service to maximize return
from insurance companies.