The Private Ambulance Difference
Careening down the streets with sirens blaring and lights flashing, ambulances are both hopeful and grim symbols of emergency situations. The EMS provides New York’s best known ambulance services that respond to all calls made to 911. There are around 1 million emergency calls placed each year.
Along with the city’s ambulance services, there are hundreds of private ambulance companies that offer services which go beyond those that the EMS offers. Private services cannot be reached in the same way as ordinary public ambulance services (dialing 911). Their main purpose is for transporting and transferring patients to hospitals; to nursing homes; to special-care facilities; or simply to-and-from their homes. They are also used as a backup to public ambulances in responding to emergency calls. It’s also worth noting that a handful of hospitals also operate their own private ambulance services.
The biggest difference with local city ambulances that take their patients to the nearest hospital, usually within a 10-minute range, is that private ambulance services will take people to any hospital they choose. All hospitals are required to take all emergency patients both from public and private ambulance services regardless of admission being prearranged or not.
Private ambulance services personnel are required to have emergency medical training and a minimum of one emergency medical technician along with certain kinds of medical equipment.
In New York, whenever somebody dials 911 to report a medical emergency, police operators transfer the call to the EMS headquarters where a medically trained operator assesses the call and brings it to a dispatcher that will contact the nearest ambulance. Depending on the situation, either an ambulance with basic life support will be sent or one with advanced life support
with paramedics will arrive on the scene.
The EMS has stated before that all emergencies should be handled with 911 calls but non-urgent situations, such as a call requesting to be transferred to a different hospital or nursing home would be best left to private ambulance services. This is to keep public services free to handle only urgent emergencies where time is of the essence.
Whenever somebody dials 911, they are brought to the nearest hospital. But if their doctor is affiliated with a different hospital the city will not be responsible for transferring him. The patient will need to work with the doctor to call a private ambulance service pick him up.
Private ambulance services also commonly transport discharged outpatients and take them back to their home or nursing homes. They can also take patients outside of the city where public ambulance services are not allowed to go.
Many large corporations also hire private ambulance services for events in order to have an EMS on site for their employees
. These private ambulances services usually have wheelchair vans, ambulettes, and other equipment designed to facilitate ease of transfer and transport.
Private ambulance technicians are trained in first aid, splinting, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, extricating victims of accidents, and child delivery. Only a few private ambulance services have paramedics on board. Paramedics are trained in advance life-support and are also qualified to insert intravenous lines, operate more advanced medical equipment, and other advanced medical techniques.
Richmond County Ambulance Service 1355 Castleton Ave Staten Island, NY 10310 (718) 273-3555 rcambulancenyc.com