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                OCEMS
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 technologyOwen 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.

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