Emergency Medical Services
The La Pine Rural Fire Protection District and its Emergency Medical Services (EMS) members are under the direction of the Oregon Department of Health and the Board of Medical Examiners.
The District employs a “Supervising Physician” who is actively registered with and approved by the Board. The Supervising Physician provides medical direction of, and is ultimately responsible for, the care rendered by Emergency Medical Technicians and First Responders. This individual is recognized by the organization as the EMS medical control authority for the District.
The EMS services are also under the direction of other county, state and federal regulations. These range from medical service recommendations to strict legislative guidance.
The District maintains written Ambulance Service Area Agreements with both Deschutes and Klamath counties. Each of these agreements contains written requirements that affect the medical related services within the District.
- Ambulance Billing:
The District’s EMS Services are paid for primarily through user fees. In 1987 when the fire district established the advanced life support paramedic ambulance program the voters elected to have this service be primarily user supported. Additional funding comes from FireMed membership fees and fire district tax subsidies.
The fire district provides emergency stabilization from life and/or limb threatening emergencies and then provides emergency medical transport to the closest hospital emergency department which is in Bend. The service is generally advanced critical care life support (ALS) but at times can be basic life support (BLS) depending on available resources at the time of call or nature of the call. Calls are screen and coded by the 911 Center. The fire district serves a much larger Ambulance Service Area than the fire tax district itself – approximately 1000 square miles within Deschutes and Klamath Counties. The ambulance response and emergency transport is limited to areas accessed by publicly maintained roads. Wilderness and off-road rescue is coordinated with local search and rescue agencies.
Due to resources levels, travel distances, and the very high service fees to the citizen – the fire district highly recommends that for non-emergency, general medical issues, and minor emergencies and urgent care type events that are not life threaten – that citizens first utilize their own primary health care provider, or the local health clinic, or urgent care facility options. The fire district also reserves its ambulance for emergency 911 calls and does not provide non-emergency ambulance transport service.