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Frequently Asked Questions

What number do I call if I need an ambulance?

If you need an ambulance right away, or in case of an emergency, call 9-1-1. To schedule an ambulance for a special event or function, call 850-606-2100.

Can I get medical advice by calling 9-1-1?

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.

Do all ambulances go to calls with their lights and sirens on?

No. When a call comes in, it is carefully triaged by a Consolidated Dispatch Agency telecommunicator who utilizes an internationally recognized computer-based program to determine the most appropriate response for each call. Calls that are identified as not immediately life threatening do not require a lights and sirens response.

What does it take to work in the EMS field?

EMS professionals possess:

  • Willingness to help others
  • Calm, caring and professional attitudes
  • Remarkable teamwork and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent decision-making skills
  • Outstanding physical stamina to lift equipment and patients
  • Exceptional ability to maintain composure in stressful situations
  • Ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds
  • Passion to continue to learn in an evolving profession
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work varying hours


  • 18 years of age or older
  • Possess a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Background check
  • Driver’s license and good driving record
  • Certification in CPR and First Aid 
  • State Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or Paramedic certification 
  • Emergency Vehicle Operator Course (EVOC)
What is the difference between an EMT and a Paramedic?

EMTs provide necessary life support including, but not limited to:

  • CPR
  • Airway management
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Control of bleeding
  • Treatment of shock 
  • Starting IVs 
  • Burn care 
  • Splinting and bandaging 
  • Extrication from vehicles 
  • Obstetrical assistance 
  • Assisting Paramedics 

Including the skills performed by EMTs (listed above), Paramedics: 

  • Treat heart attacks 
  • Interpret electrocardiograms (EKGs) 
  • Perform cardiac defibrillation 
  • Administer medications and intravenous fluids 
  • Perform endotracheal intubations 
  • Use other high-tech equipment
How many calls does Leon County EMS respond to each year?

In FY23, Leon County EMS responded to more than 50,000 requests for service and completed 33,000 patient transports.

Who should I contact if I have a question about my bill?

Please contact our contracted vendor, Digitech Computer, for billing questions on transports prior to January 1, 2021, by calling 1-888-987-0836.

For billing questions on transports on or after January 1, 2021, pelase call 888-204-5117.

I pay for Emergency Medical Services on my tax bill, why do I also get billed when I use the service?

Leon County funds the EMS Division through a combination of a Municipal Services Taxing Unit (taxes) and user fees. This minimizes the taxing impact on the entire citizenry by only taxing for the portion of services not covered by the fee for service charged by the County.

Is the bill for ambulance treatment and transport covered by health insurance?

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 patient’s 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 usual and customary. Each insurance company and, in some cases, each insurance policy may pay differently towards ambulance transportation.

I was recently transported by ambulance and Medicare denied my bill for medical necessity. Why did they deny payment and what are my rights?

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 patient’s condition, regardless of whether other means of transportation are available. The patient’s condition must be acute and such that transport by other means would endanger the patient’s life, limb, or bodily organs.

A patient has the right to appeal Medicare’s decision. In the event that a patient’s bill is rejected, a patient can file an appeal for reconsideration.

Simply call our office at 850-606-2100 and our staff would be happy to assist you with this process.

Why does a fire truck come when I call for an ambulance?

Firefighters from the Tallahassee Fire Department and local volunteer fire departments serve as medical first responders on the most serious emergency calls. They extricate patients from vehicle collisions, burning buildings, and other hazardous conditions and assist Leon County paramedics in patient assessment and stabilization. First responders provide valuable assistance, particularly in the first few minutes of an emergency.

How can I get a copy of my emergency medical services records?

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 patient’s 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 850-606-2100.

Why do I see Leon County ambulances parked at several locations around the County?

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 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.

When do paramedics utilize the emergency vehicle lights and siren?

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 patient’s condition. The answers to these questions then determine the response priority of the ambulance. This system also provides the dispatcher with lifesaving pre-arrival instructions to give the person calling 9-1-1. 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 person’s medical needs.

What should I do when approached by an emergency vehicle?

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.

Do Leon County paramedics provide community education programs?

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 850-606-2100 for more information, or see our Public Education webpage for more information. Programs must be scheduled in advance to provide adequate time to meet your needs.

I’m hosting an event and want an ambulance there. Does Leon County provide this service?

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 850-606-2100. It is necessary for special event standbys to be scheduled in advance so that crews can be scheduled.

I recently received my bill and noticed that the address for remittance is in Atlanta, why is that?

Leon County contracts with Digitech Computer for patient accounts receivable services. As a safe-guard, all monies are deposited into a special account controlled by the County. The Atlanta address is for the financial institution that manages this account.

I recently received a check in the mail from my insurance company for ambulance transportation. What should I do?

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.

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