How do you determine if an ambulance transport is considered emergent?

Emergency Response
Definition: Emergency response is a BLS or ALS1 level of service that has been provided in immediate response to a 911 call or the equivalent. An immediate response is one in which the ambulance provider/supplier begins as quickly as possible to take the steps necessary to respond to the call.

  • The phrase "911 call or equivalent" is intended to establish the standard that the nature of the call at the time of dispatch is the determining factor. Regardless of the medium by which the call is made (e.g., a radio call could be appropriate), the call is of an emergent nature when based on the information available to the dispatcher at the time of the call. It is reasonable for the dispatcher to issue an emergency dispatch in light of accepted, standard dispatch protocol.
  • An emergency call need not come through 911 even in areas where a 911 call system exists. However, the determination to respond emergently must be in accord with the local 911 or equivalent service dispatch protocol. 
  • If the call came in directly to the ambulance provider/supplier, then the provider’s/supplier’s dispatch protocol and the dispatcher’s actions must meet, at a minimum, the standards of the dispatch protocol of the local 911 or equivalent service
  • In areas that do not have a local 911 or equivalent service, then both the protocol and the dispatcher’s actions must meet, at minimum, the standards of the dispatch protocol in another similar jurisdiction within the state. If there is no similar jurisdiction, then the standards of any other dispatch protocol within the state must be met. Where the dispatch was inconsistent with this standard of protocol, including where no protocol was used, the beneficiary’s condition (e.g., symptoms) at the scene determines the appropriate level of payment. 




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