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Francis Scott Key Bridge Incident Updates

Emergency Medical Services

The Fire Department's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) division responds to emergency calls involving injury or illness. Eight EMS district officers supervise daily EMS operations.


of calls received are medical calls that require EMS


career and volunteer advanced life support medic units


career personnel are trained in EMS

Medic units (often called ambulances) are housed in fire stations alongside fire apparatus, and all career and many volunteer personnel are trained in both EMS and fire suppression. All career fire apparatus are equipped with automatic external defibrillators, used to treat sudden cardiac arrest victims.

Baltimore County is served by a state-of-the-art emergency medical and trauma care system. This system features:

  • Advanced life support engine companies
  • Emergency medical technicians and paramedics on all medic units
  • Maryland State Police Medevac helicopters
  • The world-renowned Shock Trauma Center at University of Maryland Hospital

Engines vs. Medic Units

Occasionally a fire engine, ladder truck or utility vehicle will respond when you call 911 for medical assistance. All career fire units and many volunteer engines carry trained EMS personnel. Dispatchers send an engine, truck or utility unit if one of these is closer to the medical emergency than an available medic unit; the goal is to reach the patient as quickly as possible. Also, dispatchers may send an engine to support medic crews on high-priority medical calls.

Career vs. Volunteer

Dispatchers send career and volunteer personnel based on proximity to the emergency and the type of equipment required. At the incident scene, career and volunteer personnel follow the same chain of command and operating procedures. Volunteers who actively respond to fire and EMS calls must have the same basic training as their career counterparts.


Ambulance Transport Billing

Baltimore County EMS recoups patient transport costs from private insurers, Medicare and Medicaid. Baltimore County partners with Optum (Change Healthcare), a national management company, to handle billing and collection. 

All EMS billing questions should be directed to Optum (Change Healthcare), (833) 812-0564

Contact Us

Emergency Medical Services

Public Safety Building
700 East Joppa Road
Towson, Maryland 21286


Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.




EMS Operations Supervisor

Bureau Chief Danielle Knatz