EMS Services: Frequently Asked Questions

The Maryland Heights Fire Protection District continues to provide state-of the-art advanced life support fire apparatus and advanced life support ambulances with the finest cross-trained paramedic-firefighters.

Q Why are you invoicing Insurance providers for ambulance services?
A The funds collected from the insurance providers offset the rising medical costs necessary to preserve your quality service without raising the ambulance taxes. The EMS reimbursement program collects money from non-taxpaying /non-resident individuals that use ambulance services when they are in the area. (Examples: motor vehicle accidents, hotels, nursing facilities, manufacturing companies, and businesses).

Q What percentage of ambulance calls come from people just passing through Maryland Heights Fire District; people who do not live here?
A In 2016, approximately 65% of all EMS calls were from non- residents. A substantial amount of Maryland Height’s resources were utilized by non-residents, which would have been solely financed by property taxes if we did not have the EMS reimbursement program. These reimbursements generated $658,000.00, which continues to offset costs without raising ambulance taxes.

Q Is Maryland Heights the only one invoicing for ambulance service in this manner?
A This type of reimbursement is practiced by other fire and ambulance districts throughout St. Louis County and is an accepted industry standard throughout the United States. Medicare/ Medicaid requires any EMS service that bills a non-resident/non-tax paying individual to bill everyone in the District. We legally cannot discriminate billing between a resident and non-resident.

Q Will I receive a bill from the Fire District for ambulance service?
A NO. A Fire District resident will never receive a bill; never pay a co-pay, deductible or any out-of-pocket expenses.

Q How does the District get paid for ambulance services rendered?
A The District will send an invoice directly to your private or governmental insurance provider. We accept their partial payment and the remaining balance for a resident is covered by your ambulance taxes. The Maryland Heights Fire Protection District continues to provide state-of the-art advanced life support fire apparatus and advanced life support ambulances with the finest cross-trained paramedic-firefighters.

Q When insurance companies are billed, will this raise my premiums?
A No. The costs of emergency services are already included in the premiums charged by insurance companies. Rates are set regionally and all of the surrounding Fire Districts have similar reimbursement programs in place. If we stopped billing there is no data to support it would lower your premiums. Instead of insurance companies paying out reimbursements for emergency services it will just support their earnings while you, the taxpayer, will carry the full tax burden of funding the emergency services.

Q Do I need to give you insurance information?
A When your paramedic-firefighters arrive for your medical emergency not a moment is expended gathering insurance information. We collect all the insurance information directly from the receiving hospital. You do not have to provide us any insurance information.

Q What will I receive from my insurance company?
A Insurance providers are required to send you an “Explanation of Benefits” letter. It will explain what portion they disbursed out for medical services. If the insurance provider did not cover the entire amount, a resident may see a remaining balance, which is covered by your ambulance taxes. No bill will be sent out for the unresolved amount.

Q Why is a fire truck arriving with the ambulance?
A The District not only delivers advanced life support ambulances we also provide advance life support fire apparatus. When a life threatening call is received, both are dispatched to ensure the maximum amount of paramedics and equipment on scene to assess and treat the patient. In the event both ambulances are busy on other calls, there will be no delay in patient care. While waiting for a neighboring ambulance to arrive, the fire truck paramedics are equipped to immediately perform the critical assessments and treatments for the patient. *Not all fire services of fer paramedics on fire apparatus

Q Does the ambulance just respond to medical calls?
A No. The ambulance is equipped with more than just medical equipment and the two paramedics are cross-trained in firefighting, hazardous materials, and a wide range of technical rescue. When an incident is dispatched, the ambulances staffed with the Paramedic Firefighters are part of the primary response.

*Quicker response times and cross-trained paramedics are just some of the key advantages of fire-based ambulances.

A Maryland Heights Fire District resident will not receive a bill for ambulance service. If you are billed through error, please call us immediately so it can be resolved.

If you have further questions we welcome you to call our administrative office Monday thru Friday at 314-298-4400 and ask to speak with one of the listed officers.

Chief Medical Officer, Ken Frederickson

Public Information Officer, Captain Robert Daus

Fire Chief, Steve Olshwanger

Emergency Medical Services

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Division is responsible for providing advanced life support (ALS) ambulance transport service as well as ALS first response engine and ladder companies, EMS training for district members, and Community CardioPulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and First Aid Classes.

All district paramedics are trained in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).

Monthly training sessions on EMS related subjects are provided to insure that district members are kept informed of the most current patient trends.

mhfirelifepack12large.JPGAmbulances 4417 & 4427 are staffed by two paramedic/firefighters and carries technologically advanced patient care equipment to provide the highest quality care possible to all of our patients.

The Life Pack 12: One of many Weapons in the MHFIRE Arsenal...The Lifepack 15 allows paramedics to perform a full 12 lead EKG on patients experiencing chest pain and transmit that EKG to the receiving Cardiac Center. By transmiting this information, it allows the Emergency Department Physician, Cardiologists, and the Cardiac Cath Lab to prepare for a patient’s arrival.

Engine Company 4414 and Ladder Company 4425 both carry ALS equipment (Physio-Control LifePak 12C, airway kit, intubation equipment, suction unit and cardiac arrest drug kit) and have at least one paramedic on board at all times. On EMS calls that sound serious, both the ambulance and the closet fire truck will be dispatched. This practice allows us to place a paramedic and ALS equipment on the scene within one to four minutes.

As part of our commitment to our residents, the fire district provides community education programs. American Heart Association Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) classes are offered monthly and National Safety Council First Aid classes are offered quarterly at Engine House 1. Classes are offered to district residents free of charge but reservations are required. For more information, contact the District Administrative Office at 314-298-4400.

Ambulances

Ambulance 4417

Ambulance 4417 is a 2007 Osage life support vehicle. The Osage patient care module is mounted on a Ford E-450 chassis. It was placed in service in November 2007 at Engine House 1. 4417 responds to emergency medical service alarms as well as to residential and commercial first alarms.

Ambulance 4427

Ambulance 4427 is a 2009 Osage life support vehicle. The Osage patient care module is mounted on a GMC C-4500 Chasis. It was placed in service in May, 2010 at Engine House 2. 4427 responds to emergency medical service alarms as well as to residential and commercial first alarms.20110212_MHTrucks_0002.jpg

Reserve Ambulance 4497

Reserve Ambulance 4497 is a 2002 Med-Tec life support vehicle. It was placed in service in August 2002. 4497 is placed in service when 4417 or 4427 is out of service for maintenance or for special assignments such as the Annual Creve Coeur Lake Boat Races.20110212_MHTrucks_0001.jpg

Hospital Information

When transportation to a hospital is necessary, the Maryland Heights Fire Protection District makes every effort to transport patients to the medical facility of their choice. In many cases that facility is St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, DePaul Health Center, Missouri Baptist Medical Center, Barnes-Jewish West County, St. Luke’s Hospital, or St. Joseph Health Center-St. Charles. Depending on the nature of the illness or injury, we may transport patients to the closest appropriate hospital (which may not be the patient’s hospital of choice). In severe weather or extremely heavy call volume, it may also be necessary to transport patients to the closest facility so that the ambulance may answer other emergency calls.

Blood Pressure Checks

Maryland Heights Fire Protection District offers free blood pressure checks at both engine house 1 and 2. Please call the administrative office at 314-298-4400 for more information.

Maryland Heights Fire Protection District
2600 Schuetz Road
Maryland Heights, MO 63043
Phone: (314) 298-4400
Fax: (314) 298-8282