The Charleston County Emergency Medical Service Department (CCEMS) provides medical care and transportation to hospital emergency departments for citizens and visitors to Charleston County. CCEMS also provides field emergency medical support services which require specialized training and equipment; support to hazardous materials response teams and hazardous materials clean-up operations throughout the county and assistance to area law enforcement agencies through the nationally recognized Special Weapons and Tactics Medic program.
In 1973, a group of concerned citizens, local physicians and members of Charleston County Government, created EMS. Prior to this time, emergency medical care was provided by two private ambulance services and some police "crash wagons." One of the first countywide emergency medical service systems in the state, Charleston County EMS provides access to advanced levels of emergency medical care regardless of the emergency's location or the patient's ability to pay.
We do not provide routine convalescent transportation, such as taking people home from the hospital or to clinics or private doctor's offices.
For billing inquires please contact:
PO Box 100112
Columbia, SC 29202-3112
Mon. - Fri. 8:30am - 5pm
CCEMS has received numerous awards since our inception, some of them are:
A: Taxes pay for the staffing, vehicles and stations required to provide Emergency Medical Services. User fees help offset the costs of specific equipment and supplies associated with each ambulance call. If you fail to pay your user fee, EMS may collect the fee from your state tax refund using a debt set off program.
A. There are several different certification levels of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). The initial training is that of an EMT Basic which requires around 200 hours of training before testing for national certification. An EMT Advanced performs more technical functions than an EMT Basic, but not as many as a Paramedic performs. EMT Paramedics are the highest level of training and are able to perform more technical functions; they have more than 1,100 hours of training.
A paramedic is a person who usually works outside the hospital to provide initial medical treatment in the event of illness or injury. Paramedics work with many other professionals, such as firefighters, rescue, police, nurses, doctors and others, in order to provide treatment and stabilization to those in crisis. The paramedic is usually an extension of the doctor's knowledge and skill. This means that the paramedic carries out examinations and treatments when a doctor is not available. There must be a high level of trust between the paramedic and the doctor.
A: In order to provide optimal response times, ambulances in Charleston County are strategically positioned to various locations.
A: No. However, County emergency agencies have access to and use of various private helicopter services. Through a cooperative effort, the emergency service agencies in the County have designated scores of suitable helicopter landing sites ranging from large intersections to baseball fields.
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