Organized in 1947, the Bristol Rescue Squad, later changing its name to the Division of Emergency Medical Services, was formed under the Bristol Fire Department to provide comprehensive, state of the art pre-hospital care to the sick and injured citizens of Bristol, Rhode Island.
The dedicated men and women, consisting of Emergency Medical Responders, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), Advance Technicians, and Paramedics effectively respond to over 2,800 EMS calls per year, making Bristol one of the busiest volunteer EMS services in the State of Rhode Island.
Bristol also provides its surrounding municipalities with mutual aid, public education, outreach, and other community orientated programs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is ‘EMS’?
An emergency medical service (or EMS) is a service providing out-of-hospital acute care and transport to definitive care, to patients with illnesses and injuries which the patient believes constitute a medical emergency.
What is the BLS and ALS?
Basic Life Support (or BLS) is a specific level of prehospital medical care provided by trained responders. Basic Life Support consists of a number of life-saving techniques focused on the “ABC”s (Airway, Breathing, & Circulation) of pre-hospital emergency care. An ALS (Advance Life Support) provider may perform advanced procedures and skills on a patient involving invasive and non-invasive procedures.
How do I become an EMT?
Almost all community colleges and some state colleges and hospitals offer training for Emergency Medical Technicians. This is usually a 3-6 month course that can be completed as part of other curriculum at a college or EMS training institution. Once the course has been completed, you must pass a computer-based test to become nationally registered. This test is known as the National Registry Exam. To obtain a license to work in your area, you must file an application to your state agency, along with your national registry card and a certificate of course completion, which will be valid for two years. You must be 18+ years old, a US citizen, and agree to have a background check on past criminal activities.
Does the Bristol Fire Department charge ambulance transport fees?
Yes. A patient’s insurance company is billed for the ambulance transport. Town residents may receive a statement of benefits, but do not need to pay any additional fees.
How does ambulance transport billing work?
The Bristol Fire Department has contracted with a company to handle ambulance transport billing fee billing. After patient services are provided, insurance information will be obtained routinely, most often at the hospital. Residents may receive an initial statement or a request for verification of insurance information from the billing company. The current contracted billing vendor is The Dawson Group, and they can be contacted at 401-572-3120 for any billing related questions.
If I don’t have health insurance and cannot pay, what options do I have?
Patients transported that do not have health insurance will have the option of payment at a reduced rate or no payment based on lack of ability to pay the bill.
What if my insurance company will not cover the transport fee?
The billing company will attempt to obtain information to show the medical necessity of your medical care. However, if the claim is ultimately rejected, the billing company will offer alternative payment options.
Will Medicare pay for transport fees?
Medicare and Medicaid have established procedures regarding payment of ambulance transport fees.
If there is an ambulance call to a school, business, or workplace what procedures will be followed?
Procedures and policies are the same regardless of the location of the emergency. Town EMS personnel’s’ responsibility is to take care of the patient. Billing for transport services will be handled routinely after the patient’s needs are addressed.
How will my privacy be protected?
All department members have been trained on patient privacy and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). These requirements will be strictly enforced and adhered to.
Fire Headquarters Address: 4 Annawamscutt Drive, Bristol, RI 02809
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday | 8:00AM – 4:00PM