Emergency Medical Services; a Tradition of Service to the People
The role of the City of Kissimmee Fire Department has evolved considerably since being established in 1909. As far back as the late 1970s, the Fire Department began active participation in pre-hospital care and transport. ALS/BLS (Advanced Life Support/Basic Life Support) transport services began in 1979, when the City's Fire Department entered into a local agreement with Osceola County. At that time, the City was contracted to provide ALS transport for the west side of the County as well as for Kissimmee residents. The service began with only one ALS unit and one BLS unit. Today, the Kissimmee Fire Department staffs four full-time ALS transport vehicles. The City provides EMS services for all City residents and is available upon request, to assist Osceola County and the City of St. Cloud. Rescue vehicles are equipped with state of the art equipment and crews are regularly trained to maintain and upgrade skill levels.
Staffing: More Than Just an Ambulance Ride
All fire department rescue vehicles are minimally staffed with one paramedic and one EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). All EMTs and paramedics are also dual certified as firefighters. In addition to the initial training of more than 1,000 hours, paramedics must receive at least 30 hours of continuing education including at least 2 hours of pediatric education and maintain both Advanced and Basic Life Support certifications every two years, to keep state certification. Similarly, EMTs receive a minimum of 250 hours of initial training and must take an additional 30 hours of continuing education including 2 hours of pediatric education and maintain Basic Life Support certification every two years, in order to maintain state certification. In addition to their careers as firefighter/EMTs and firefighter/paramedics, several members of the department are qualified instructors in Advanced Life Support, Basic Life Support, First Responder, EMT, and numerous other EMS specialty courses.
Health and Safety Division:
The Health and Safety Division works with the field supervisors (Health and Safety Officers) to facilitate operations, safety and direction of emergency medical services. This broad mission is achieved through oversight of training, equipment, supplies, and run review. Representation from the Health and Safety Division is sent to all quarterly State Department of Health, Bureau of EMS meetings. In this way, KFD can stay current of any changes in laws and standards to maintain compliance. Finally, the Department works closely with Dr. Dagan Dalton, our Medical Director, to maintain quality assurance and adherence to accepted local protocols. Dr. Dalton takes an active interest in the EMS operations at KFD and schedules ride time with rescue crews to participate and observe field operations. He is available 24/7 for any questions crews may have about emergency scenes.
The Health and Safety Division encourages participation from field personnel through the EMS Committee. The role of the committee is to review current equipment, techniques and training and make recommendations when needed to the division chief for review. In this way, field personnel have an active voice in how best to provide EMS.
Charges for Services:
Patients who are transported by fire-rescue ambulances will receive a bill for the services rendered. The fee is used to offset the costs of all City services and is allocated to the City’s general fund. Billing is managed by an outsource firm, Intermedix. They can be reached at www.emsclaims.com or by calling 866-622-5113.
Currently the rate for medical transportation is $400 - $700, depending on the services rendered. These charges also cover non-transport user fees, which are based on services rendered. An additional charge of $10.00 per mile from your emergency scene to the hospital will be included on the billing statement.
You will receive a billing statement with an insurance information form several weeks after your incident. Even though you may have given your insurance information at the time of transportation, it is strongly recommended you complete the insurance information form and return it to the City of Kissimmee Fire Department, P.O. Box 917456, Orlando, FL 32891. If you would rather issue the information by phone, please call 888-987-1481. Advise the billing department you were transported by the City of Kissimmee Fire Department and you want to make sure they have your insurance information. Have your billing statement available, so you can provide your account number. If you have not received a statement, you should have your date of birth, social security number, date of incident, and address where the incident happened.
Should you find yourself in a difficult financial situation, we encourage you to contact our billing department at 866-622-5113 to discuss making payment arrangements. Delinquent accounts are turned over to a collection agency. Once the account has been turned over to the collection agency, you will have to meet their payment requirements.
Insurance companies will normally cover the fees for medically necessary transportation. Medicare and Medicaid require that all ambulance transportations be medically necessary or they will not pay. Should this occur, you will be responsible for the complete bill.
Some insurance companies have a 60-90 day requirement for filing. If your insurance company has that requirement, you should contact the billing department as soon as possible following the incident and alert them to the need to file within the designated timeframe.