Frequently Asked Questions

Why do fire engines respond to emergency medical calls?

The answer is quality of care and efficiency of service! Fire engines are sent to medical emergencies for one of two reasons:

  • The severity of the medical emergency requires more personnel than the assigned medic unit can provide; or
  • The closest medic unit is not available and the closest fire engine is sent with the next closet available medic unit in order to arrive at the scene of the emergency as quickly as possible.

All our personnel are cross trained and generally switch between riding a fire engine and a medic unit on a regular basis. The fire engine crew can provide a similar level of care as the ambulance, with the exception of transport. Many times, given the call volume for our department, simultaneous calls may be received which means that our ambulances are committed to a medical emergency. In these situations, one of our fire apparatus can arrive more quickly to begin life saving care. When a life-threatening condition occurs, such as sudden cardiac arrest or severe allergic reaction, minutes, even seconds make the difference. The fire engine crew can respond and begin treatment to prepare the patient for transportation before an ambulance arrives. The medics on the fire engine are capable of completing these tasks because of the equipment in place on each fire engine.

I don't have insurance/my insurance only covers a portion of my ambulance bill/my insurance doesn't cover my ambulance bill. Do you offer discounts?

Unfortunately, due to operating costs, we cannot offer discounts on ambulance bills. However, we are sensitive to the various financial situations of those we treat, and we're willing to work with you to set up an interest-free monthly payment plan. Please contact our Medical Billing Specialist at (785) 830-7040 to learn more about payment plans.

How can pay my ambulance bill with a credit card or electronic check?

Visit our Electronic Payments page for more information.

I need an ambulance to stand-by for an event I’m having. What are the rates and how do I make arrangements?

City Ordinance 8312/County Resolution 08-28 sets ambulance stand-by fees at actual cost plus a 10% administrative fee. Actual cost is the hourly rate and benefits of the employees staffing the ambulance. The minimum staffing for an ambulance is two employees, one of whom must be a licensed paramedic. In 2009, the average charged cost of stand-by was $109 per hour; however, your charges may be greater or lesser depending on the specific individuals staffing the stand-by.

To make arrangements for a stand-by or for additional questions, please contact Division Chief Eve Tolefree at (785) 830-7009.
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