Frequently asked questions

When should I call 911?

It is important to know what to do in a medical emergency because it can save a life. One of the first questions to ask is whether the situation you are dealing with is truly an emergency that requires a trip to the emergency department by ambulance. The examples listed below are the most common reasons you should call for an ambulance during an emergency: - Bleeding that will not stop
- Breathing problems (difficulty breathing, shortness of breath)
- Change in mental status (such as unusual behavior, confusion, difficulty arousing)
- Chest pain
- Choking
- Coughing up or vomiting blood
- Fainting or loss of consciousness
- Traumatic head or open limb fracture
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Sudden injury due to a motor vehicle accident, burns or smoke inhalation, near drowning, deep or large wound, etc.
- Sudden, severe pain anywhere in the body
- Sudden dizziness, weakness, or change in vision
- Swallowing a poisonous substance
- Upper abdominal pain or pressure When in doubt, call 911!

What is the difference between ALS and BLS units?

ALS stands for Advanced Life Support. BLS stands for Basic Life Support. A BLS unit will have two Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). An ALS unit will have an EMT and a paramedic. A BLS provider is very limited in the use of medications, medical equipment and lifesaving procedures. An ALS provider can administer various medications, start intravenous (IV) fluids, defibrillate, intubate, etc. An ALS provider can give basic treatment in case of cuts or injuries, whereas a BLS provider does not have the right to do it. Unlike the BLS unit, an ALS unit will be equipped with airway equipment, cardiac life support, cardiac monitors, ventilators and a glucose testing device.

What is Owen County EMS' policy regarding transport destination?

Owen County EMS transports patients to the nearest most appropriate facility.

Once an ambulance arrives and I decide I do not need an ambulance but wish to go to a medical facility, what options do I have?

Other options available include Owen County Public Transit, local churches, contacting friends or family or driving yourself to a medical facility.

Why does Owen County charge ambulance fees?

OCEMS is funded by the Owen County Fiscal Court general fund budget, the sole purpose of which is to establish and make available to the community services through a fee or service model which charges for services rendered.