The Upper Arlington Fire Division provides paramedic care with advanced life support capabilities. All medic trucks are staffed with at least two paramedics and all fire apparatus have at least one paramedic at all times. This model provides residents with rapid response to requests for EMS even when the medic units are already on other calls. It is common to see a fire truck respond to EMS calls either in advance of a medic unit or in conjunction with a medic unit.
The Medical Advisory Board was established in 1974 to provide on-going professional supervision, training, and support to UAFD’s emergency medical program. The seven member board is comprised of Emergency Department physicians, pediatricians, cardiologists and trauma specialists. The board regularly reviews the EMS protocol, assists with the training of paramedics and basic EMTs, and performs quality control evaluations of the performance of the UAFD medic companies.
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Like most communities nationwide, the Fire Division bills for Emergency Medical Service (EMS) transports, since private insurance and Medicare policies contain provisions for treatment and transport by an emergency medical provider. The funds generated provide an effective long-term means to defray some of the costs involved with Fire Division operations.
If you or a family member is provided with emergency medical services that result in transportation to a local hospital, a bill for the transport will be sent to your insurance company, Medicare, or Medicaid. There is never a situation where service must be paid for on the day it is rendered.
Patient care will not be compromised by this program and you should never be afraid to call 9-1-1 for help when you need it. The fire departments in Franklin County will never refuse to render treatment or to transport to a medical facility due to inability to pay or lack of insurance.
EMS services should always be used in times of medical emergency; especially when a patient is alone and not in a condition to drive to a medical facility. EMS providers deliver patients to medical facilities rapidly and safely, while initiating medical treatment.
Following an EMS transport, bills are sent to the insurance company of the patient. Patients only see a request for information in the mail if the record of insurance is not on file and cannot be obtained by the EMS crew (e.g. the patient was unconscious). Patients may receive a “signature letter” to sign and return following transport to a medical facility. This is not a bill, and to assist in processing the insurance payment, you are asked to sign and return the letter promptly.
UA residents should also be aware that if Upper Arlington medic units are occupied with other EMS calls, medical care would be provided via another fire department. In such situations, the insurance reimbursement regulations require that non-residents of the entity providing the service be billed for the co-pay required by their insurance company.
We are always looking for innovative ways to bring the best care possible to our community and are proud to offer CARES—Community Assistance, Referrals and Education Services. CARES focuses on education, injury prevention and building community partnerships to help improve residents lives. CARES is a paramedicine program that provides community-based healthcare, with our paramedics functioning outside their customary emergency response roles to educate and assist residents in health care issues, and developing useful collaborations with area providers.
If you are interested in supporting CARES, you can donate to the Upper Arlington Fire Division’s CARES Fund. Complete the contact form below if you would like to donate.
To learn more or to schedule one of the services listed below, contact us at 614-583-5352 or CARES@uaoh.net. If you are a resident or area health organization that sees an opportunity for partnering with the Fire Division to expand public health in Upper Arlington, we want to hear from you—please complete the contact form below.
BIKE HELMETS FOR KIDS
Riding a bicycle is a great way for children to have fun and stay active however, the potential risks of riding without a helmet can be life altering—a helmet can reduce the risk of brain injury by up to 88%. The division has a limited number of bicycle helmets available to help minimize the risk of head injury when accidents happen. A CARES team member can properly fit the helmet to each child.
Residents may stop by either fire station to have their blood pressure taken. We recommend that you call ahead, at 614-583-5100, to make sure staff is available.
Developing methods and innovating techniques are continuously providing better care for individuals with special needs. The CARES Registry is designed to help minimize the impact of injuries, illness or emergencies experienced by members of our community with special needs. The CARES Registry is voluntary, free-of-charge and adaptable to each individual’s need.
At a family’s invitation, members of the CARES team will schedule a home visit to meet individuals with cognitive, communication, or mobility impairments or complex medical needs. The team will gather pertinent information about the specific needs of the individual, perform a basic home safety inspection, collaborate with the family to prepare, and work with everyone to develop a trusting relationship in case of any future emergency situations. The information gathered by the CARES team–all confidential–can be used by the City’s emergency services, to provide the best level of care and compassion to the individuals on the registry. The CARES registry is also tied into the mobile data terminals in the city’s vehicles via the dispatching team at the Northwest Regional Emergency Communications Center.
To find out more about the CARES Registry, contact Firefighter/Paramedic Dave Wisner at CARES@uaoh.net or 614-583-5352.
Nine out of 10 car seats have some installation issue that could result in a child not surviving a crash. Car seat safety checks make it possible to assist parents with installation and problem car seats, ensuring that children are safe for every car ride.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, there are several things a parent or caregiver can do (other than using appropriate infant and toddler seats) to help ensure the safety of children aged four-eight years:
- Use the harnessed car seat until the child is at least 40 pounds
- Use a booster seat for children 40 pounds to 80-100 pounds and 4’9″ in height. Continue to use the booster seat until the safety belt fits properly on the shoulder and hips
- Require that all children sit in the back seat until they are 13 years old
- Make sure everyone in the vehicle is wearing a safety belt or is in a proper restraint every time on every trip
Tips on how to test if your child is appropriate for safety belt use alone:
- Have the child sit on the vehicle seat with his/her back and bottom against the seat back
- Check to see if knees bend at the vehicle’s seat edge and if feet touch the floor (optimal)
- Fasten safety belt across hip and shoulders. Check that the lap belt stays on the hips and the shoulder belt lies on the collarbone or shoulder
- The child should be able to maintain that position for the entire ride
If any of these items cannot be done, a booster seat is the way to go. This information is important not only in the daily transportation of children, but also for field trips and carpooling.
To have your car seat inspected, please call 614-583-5100 to schedule an appointment.
COORDINATED CARE RELATIONSHIPS
CARES is uniquely positioned to support partnerships with local healthcare providers to create coordinated home care support for our most vulnerable residents. CARES goals are to prevent unnecessary hospitalizations, facilitate healthcare navigation and increase connection to community resources. Connecting residents to the appropriate support services could help prevent future emergency situations.
CPR & AED TRAINING
Nationally more than 350,000 people have cardiac arrests in the U.S. every year. More than 85% occur in the home with a survival rate of just 12-15%. However, statistics show that if more people knew CPR more lives could be saved. Immediate CPR can double or even triple a victim’s chance of survival. Through our Community CPR training program—which is offered bi-monthly—residents can attain certification in CPR and learn how to use an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). Upon completion of the class, students will be American Heart Association certified in Heartsaver CPR/AED for a two year period. This includes techniques for resuscitation of adults, children and infants.
Registration for the Heartsaver course is coordinated through the City’s Parks & Recreation Department. You can register online (link below), by phone at 614-583-5300 or in-person at the Parks & Recreation desk at the Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road, Upper Arlington, OH 43221.
The registration fee is $35.00 per person and an optional training manual is available for $3.00. Class size is limited to 12 people and participants must be at least 10 years of age. All classes are held at Fire Station 72, 3861 Reed Road, Upper Arlington, OH 43220. Parking is available adjacent to the firehouse. Students should access the building via the public entrance on Lytham Road.
For additional CPR course options and pricing, please contact Firefighter/Paramedic Mindy Gabriel CARES@uaoh.net or at 614-583-5352. We have just the right class for your needs whether you wanted to learn the basics of CPR in the privacy of your home with our Street by Street program or you are a healthcare provider needing to be certified for your work place.
SAFE BABY TRAINING
Being a new parent can be nerve racking. This program offers at home evaluation and classes to give parents peace of mind. This includes: friends & family CPR, safe sleep evaluations and child safety seat checks. We also offer quarterly drive-thru car seat events where experts check each seat and offer education on how to keep your baby the safest while driving. Don’t want to wait till the next child seat safety check event? No worries contact CARES and schedule an individual appointment.
CARES team members can conduct a confidential, non-emergency medical evaluation and education in your own home, helping residents stay safe in their homes and reducing the need for future emergency medical care. CARES team members can also conduct fall risk assessments to help reduce the risk of residents falling in their home.
A volunteer-based program coordinated by the Upper Arlington Commission on Aging, is available to assist elderly residents with snow removal. Those residents who would like to volunteer or those looking for assistance can register for the Snow Angels program by calling 614-583-5123.
Are these mutual aid agreements compromised if communities have different or no EMS billing practices?
No. Mutual aid is recognized as an important mechanism for assuring comprehensive and responsive fire and medical emergency assistance to citizens of all Franklin County communities. Community leaders and fire chiefs of these communities have agreed that mutual aid will not be affected in any way.
Yes, both private and government health insurance plans include provisions for EMS transportation.
No. Once gathered, patient information would be forwarded to a third party billing agency contracted by the City and specializing in EMS billing. The patient’s insurance company or Medicare would be billed for the run. Recent changes in rules set by the Department of Health and Human Services enables government entities to only invoice the patient’s insurance company or Medicare, and does not require them to bill those who cannot pay or are indigent. They may also waive the coinsurance fee for their residents rather than adopt a “hard billing” policy that would result in invoicing the patient for the balance and taking a proactive collection stance.
No. All calls for help are answered in the same manner, regardless of insurance coverage or ability to pay.
Health care costs will rise regardless of whether a community bills for EMS transports. The primary factors influencing such increases are prescription drug coverage, medical litigation, technology in medicine and depressed investment company returns. Most private insurance and Medicare policies already have provisions in place for treatment and transport by an emergency medical provider. Billing for EMS transports allows the City to recover some of its operating costs through existing insurance monies.
The City offers a Community CPR training program, certified Heartsaver CPR/AED, through LifeLong Learning & Leisure with the Parks & Recreation Department – Activity Registration at 614-583-5333. For the basics of CPR or healthcare provider courses, please contact Firefighter/Paramedic Mindy Gabriel at
614-583-5352 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Residents may stop by any fire station to have their blood pressure taken. It is recommended to call the Fire Division at 614-583-5100 before you arrive to verify if staff is available.
The Fire Division averages 2,000 EMS transports per year (residents and non-residents). Based on these numbers and the rate-of-return seen by municipalities with similar demographics, the City conservatively anticipates an annual return of $400,000.
The funds raised are set aside to support fire and emergency medical services provided by the Upper Arlington Fire Division. This includes the support of facilities maintenance and upgrades and the purchase of fire and EMS equipment and vehicles when needed.
- Transport claims will be submitted to Medicaid/Medicare/private insurance as before.
- Non-residents will receive up to three bills for any balance not paid by Medicare/Medicaid/private insurance, or the entire amount if they do not have insurance.
- Upper Arlington residents will not be billed for a transport or for any outstanding balance on a claim, even if they do not have insurance.
- Residents may receive a letter requesting or verifying insurance information if it had not been obtained in full at the time of the EMS transport.
- Some private insurance companies may submit payment to the patient when it should be sent to the City. If this occurs and the patient has not forwarded the check to the City, he/she will receive a letter from the City requesting reimbursement.
- In some cases whereby an EMS transport is provided by another jurisdiction through mutual aid, the policy of that responding agency will apply, therefore Upper Arlington residents may receive a bill for any balance due on the claim.
Appropriate treatment is rendered according to the injury or illness. Transportation to a medical facility is sometimes but not always required. If the patient’s condition warrants it, the medic unit provides this service.
If the patient is in a condition to do so, he/she is asked for medical insurance information and a signature, as typically happens when being admitted to a hospital. If this practice might interfere with patient care, it is delayed or a relative is asked to provide the appropriate information. EMS reporting software currently used by Upper Arlington already collects most of the required information, and can be expanded to capture insurance information.
Responding to a call for help remains the top priority, regardless of an individual’s medical insurance situation and ability to pay. Upper Arlington residents will not receive a bill for the transport or any outstanding balance, even if they do not have insurance. While non-residents will receive a bill for any outstanding balance not covered by insurance or the full amount due, the City will work with low-income individuals who do not have insurance as such cases arise.
All calls to 9-1-1 in Upper Arlington go to the Northwest Regional Emergency Communications Center. Dispatchers immediately send the closest available unit that has the required equipment and personnel. This may be a medic unit, fire truck or a combination of the two. Typically these are Upper Arlington units however, if all Upper Arlington units are busy with other emergencies, units from other communities in Franklin County are called upon to respond, thanks to mutual aid agreements that assure quick emergency service.