Updated: 1 May 2018
Where you unable to find your question listed below? Contact our office, by phone at 540-468-2295 or you can contact the County EMS Coordinator, Chris Vernovai by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Do you have questions regarding membership? Email the Membership Committee Chair, Dawn Varner at email@example.com and a member will be in contact with you as soon as possible.
Q. Is there anything I can do to make my home or business easier to find during an emergency?
The best thing you can do to assist us in locating your home or business during an emergency is to place large street numbers either on your mailbox, front entry gate, or home that are visible day or night. They should be 3-4 inches in height and made of a reflective material is preferable. These numbers should be visible from the roadway in either direction and of contrasting colors.
Q. How do I get an ambulance to my house?
Call 911 and answer all questions the 911 operator asks you, as well as follow all instructions they give you. Sometimes it may feel like there are too many questions being asked, but it helps the 911 dispatcher give us as much information as possible before we arrive so we can prepare properly.
Q. Okay, I’ve called 911 and they are sending an ambulance, now what?
If you have anyone who can safely stand at the side of the road and direct the ambulance to where the patient is, do so. If you are by yourself, you should not leave the patient who is in need. If it is night time, turning on your outside lights also helps greatly.
Q. Can I volunteer even though I am not an EMT or EVOC Driver already?
Absolutely! HCVRS does not require a current EMT or EVOC certification in order to apply. HCVRS works with our membership to provide the training you need to become a certified provider or driver at no cost to you with a training contract! No previous training is required. We will train you in CPR and AED at no cost to you as well.
Q. Is there a way I can volunteer that doesn’t involve patient care?
Driving memberships and Administrative memberships are available for individuals who are not interested in providing direct patient care. Our drivers do assist with some patient care and packaging assistance on scene as well as at the hospitals.
Q. Will HCVRS assist me to become an EMT or an ALS Provider?
Highland County Rescue Squad has types of tuition reimbursement or a training contract available for members on a case-by-case basis. HCVRS also offers the use of HCVRS owned training vehicle so that members can commute to and from classes without use of their personal vehicles.
Q. How many 911 calls does HCVRS receive annually?
In 2015 HCVRS received approximately 240 individual calls-for-service. These calls also include stand by events such as the County Fair, Truck and Tractor Pulls, Fish Day etc. We average approximately 20 calls per month.
Q. How long does the average call take from the time it is dispatched to the crews are back and headed home compared to a call in the city areas?
On average our "turnover time" on calls runs approximately 4 1/2 to 6 hours. Most of the time is travel times. Highland County is a good distance from the hospitals to which we routinely transport to. For instance, our primary hospital, Augusta Health in Fishersville is 55 miles or just over an hour from Monterey. If the call originates further west, north or south of Monterey, those distances can quickly increase. We have calls that have transports of over 80 miles one way! Likewise, we have to travel from the ambulance bays to the location of the call, which can sometimes be 30 miles or more due to the remoteness of the county.
Typically in the city environments, the total turn around times can be on average of 30-45 minutes due to the close proximities of the units to the call locations and mostly to the Emergency Departments at the hospitals. Transport times in the city can often be less than 5 minutes!
Q. Do I get charged for using an ambulance?
Yes the HCVRS does charge for service. This is called Revenue Recovery. However, worrying about paying for the ambulance should NEVER deter you from calling 911 if you think you need an ambulance. If you have questions about how our billing process works please CLICK HERE
Q. Why does HCVRS charge for service?
HCVRS is a non-profit organization. All revenue that is recovered from patient transport and care is used to keep the organization going. We use our funds to train our providers, maintain our building and ambulances, fuel for our ambulances, the purchase new equipment and apparatus, and pay normal everyday bills such as insurance and phone bills.
Q. Does HCVRS still need donations?
This is easily answered with an overwhelming, YES!! While we do participate in the Revenue Recovery Program, it is extremely important to note that this does not cover all of the operational expenses of HCVRS. We still rely heavily and depend on donations to the agency. Revenue Recovery was put in place to help meet the difference between the operational expenses and the donation income. We are a 501(c)3 Non-Profit
Q. I think there is a problem with my bill, who do I contact?
If you believe you have been billed in error you must contact our billing office. We do not handle billing at our station. You may call our billing office by calling 540-213-0528, or visit their website by CLICKING HERE
Q. Why did the ambulance go to the hospital without their lights and sirens on?
When we transport a patient to the hospital, the AIC or “Attendant in Charge” (the EMS provider in charge of that particular patient’s care) makes the decision to go with lights and sirens, or to not go with lights and sirens. This decision is made based on the AIC’s patient assessment, vital signs, patient complaint, medical history, and the AIC’s professional judgement as to if the condition the patient is in presents an immediate life threat. Again, this does not mean that you are not important to us, it is just to keep things safe on the way to the hospital.
Q. There is an emergency vehicle behind me with their lights and siren on, what do I do?
As safely as possible move to the right and allow the ambulance to pass. Do not stop in the middle of curves or the middle of hills on two lane roads, unless you have a spot where you can FULLY pull off the road, as generally we will have to slightly move into the oncoming lane to go around you. If you stop in a curve or on the middle of a hill where we cannot see oncoming traffic, we will not pass you and will wait for you to proceed to an area where we can pass you safely.
If you are in an intersection at a red light, and there is a way for the ambulance to go around you, please stay still even if the light turns green and do not move until the ambulance passes you and is at least 250ft away from you. Sometimes we may go into the left hand turning lane to get around traffic, however our direction of travel will be to the right, if you move before we clear the intersection, you may be struck by the emergency vehicle.