CHURCH HILL VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT EMS DIVISION
Pre-hospital emergency medical care in Queen Anne's County is delivered through a combination (Volunteer/Career) system. The Church Hill Volunteer Fire Department maintains one Advanced Life Support equipped ambulance which is operated by VOLUNTEERS that are at minimum, certified as State of Maryland Emergency Medical Technician-Basic's. These EMT-B's must complete over 160 hours of initial training as well as continuing education on a yearly basis.
Based on information provided to the 911 dispatch center from the caller, as well as pre-determined guidelines, a staffed Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulance may also be dispatched in conjunction with our ambulance. Currently, the Queen Anne's County Department of Emergency Services maintains four staffed ALS transport (Paramedic) ambulances throughout the county, with the closest being stationed in Sudlersville.
The Church Hill Volunteer Fire Department also certifies two units as Basic Life Support (BLS) equipped. Known as the Maryland BLS Seal of Excellence, both "Engine 52" and "Special Unit 59" are equipped with medical supplies to begin life-saving medical care until the arrival of an ambulance in the event ours is unavailable. Both Engine 52 and Special Unit 59 are equipped with Semi-Automatic External Defibrillators.
To support our services and ensure we are equipped with the latest equipment, the Church Hill Volunteer Fire Department seeks partial reimbursement from the patientsâ€™ insurance company. We employ a third-party company to handle our patient billing, with the information being sent directly to the insurance company. Any costs not covered by the insurance company may be forwarded to the patient. Rest assured, no one will ever be denied medical care based on the status of insurance or any other factor.
The Church Hill Volunteer Fire Department, in conjunction with the Queen Anne's County Department of Emergency Services, works hand-in-hand to ensure the highest quality pre-hospital emergency medical care is delivered to the citizens of Church Hill and surrounding areas. Please see the FAQ section below for answers to common questions.
Q: Why did the ambulance show up without any lights on? I called 911!
A: Calls are prioritized by the 911 dispatch center using nationally and locally accepted standard guidelines. Dependent upon the nature and severity of your emergency, ambulances may respond non-emergency (no lights, no sirens) to you. This is for our safety, as well as others on the road.
Q: Why can't I go to the hospital of my choice? My doctor is there!
A: Emergency medical providers are licensed and governed by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems. Strict protocols issued by the Institute may, in some cases, dictate the destination of the patient. Usually, the protocols indicate that the most serious patients be transported to the closest appropriate hospital. These protocols are reviewed by the MIEMSS yearly and are always in the best interest of the patient.
Q: Why did a fire truck show up? I called for an ambulance!
A: Due to the nature of some emergencies, additional medical personnel may be needed to assist with advanced treatment. These firefighters are also medically trained and are there to support the ambulance crew. It is also possible that, due to other emergencies close to your home or in times of limited volunteer staffing, you may receive a fire truck to initiate care before the arrival of an ambulance.
Q: Calling 911 for an ambulance will ensure I get seen by the hospital quicker, right?
A: Patients are prioritized by the hospital based on the condition of the patient - regardless if you are brought in by an ambulance or not. This practice is commonly called "Triage". Triaging of patients allows the most serious patients to be seen first.